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BALTIMORE AREA RETAIL PRICES DROP 0.5 PERCENT SINCE SEPTEMBER: SEASONAL DECLINE IN ELECTRICITY PRICES MAINLY RESPONSIBLE

 BALTIMORE, Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Retail prices in the Baltimore area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), fell 0.6 percent for the two-month period ended November 1992, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
 Alan M. Paisner, the bureau's regional commissioner, noted that a seasonal decline in electricity prices paced the overall drop. The CPI-U for Baltimore City and the counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, Howard, and Queen Annes stood 2.4 percent higher in November of this year than 12 months ago. (See table A.)
 The housing index fell 1.7 percent since September, due mainly to lower electricity prices. Electricity prices dropped 20.0 percent in October as a result of seasonal rate adjustment and stayed constant in November.
 The apparel and upkeep index fell 2.2 percent over the last two months due entirely to a seasonal decline in apparel commodities prices. A 9.7 percent decline in prices for men's and boys' apparel was the largest drop in over two years and contributed most to the overall decline. Women's and girls' apparel prices fell only 0.2 percent since September.
 Food and beverage prices fell over the last two months due entirely to lower grocery prices. Grocery prices fell in both October and November. A 3.3 percent decline for dairy products -- the largest drop since March 1987 -- contributed most to the decline in grocery prices over the month.
 The tranportation index rose 1.4 percent over the last two months as both private and public transportation prices were higher since September. Private transportation rose due mainly to higher prices for new cars and motor fuel. Motor fuel, priced monthly by the bureau, advanced 2.3 percent in November. Public transportation prices rose 4.3 percent over the last two months.
 The CPI-U for the Baltimore area stood at 141.1 on the 1982-84=100 reference base, which means that a market basket of goods and services which averaged $100.00 in the 1982-84 period would have cost $141.10 in November. The local Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) fell 0.6 percent since September to 140.6, up 2.6 percent over the year.
 Table A:
 Percent changes in CPI-U, Baltimore area, not seasonally adjusted.
 Change for two Change for
 months ended 12 months
 Expenditure July Sept. Nov. ended
 category 1992 1992 1992 Nov. 1992
 All items 0.8 0.9 -0.6 2.4
 Food & beverages -0.1 1.2 -0.5 2.1
 Housing 2.2 -0.1 -1.7 0.7
 Apparel & upkeep -8.5 6.5 -2.2 -0.1
 Transportation 1.0 0.0 1.4 2.7
 Medical care 3.6 1.2 1.7 7.4
 Entertainment 0.6 0.1 -1.4 0.5
 Other goods & services 0.2 3.8 0.7 10.0
 Special index:
 Energy 9.4 0.0 -5.3 1.6
 -0- 12/11/92
 /CONTACT: Michelle Weihmann (information), 215-596-1154, or Maureen Greene (media), 215-596-1157, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics/


CO: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics ST: Maryland IN: HOU SU: ECO

MP -- PH003 -- 6114 12/11/92 09:05 EST
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Date:Nov 13, 1992
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