Inflation - Consumer Price Index

Inflation, which is the change in the level of prices over time, affects City finances in many ways.  For example, in its financial planning and budgeting, the City must take inflation into account in calculating its costs for goods and services, labor, and employee benefits. Seattle City revenues are also affected by inflation, as the prices of taxable goods and services rise over time.

In Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), we explain what inflation is and how it is measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is the most commonly used measure of inflation.  FAQ also includes examples of how to use the CPI to determine the rate of inflation and how to adjust financial data to remove the effects of inflation. In COLA Calculations, we describe how the City uses the CPI to calculate cost-of-living adjustments for labor contracts.In addition, the site contains historical data and forecasts of the CPI for both the U.S. and the Seattle metropolitan area.