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LOS ANGELES AREA CONSUMER PRICES UP 0.4 PERCENT IN FEBRUARY HOUSING AND APPAREL COSTS CITED

 LOS ANGELES AREA CONSUMER PRICES UP 0.4 PERCENT
 IN FEBRUARY HOUSING AND APPAREL COSTS CITED
 LOS ANGELES, March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Prices paid for goods and services purchased by consumers in the greater Los Angeles area (Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura counties) rose 0.4 percent in February, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. Sam Hirabayashi, the Bureau's regional commissioner, said that over 70 percent of the increase was due to higher priced apparel and housing costs. The All Items, Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers now stands at 144.9 (1982-84-100), 3.6 percent above the February 1991 level. Consumer Price Index data for local areas are not seasonally adjusted.
 The housing index rose 0.5 percent during the month and was 3.0 percent above a year ago. Shelter costs were up 0.3 percent in February, with out-of-town lodging a major contributor to the increase. Higher residential electricity rates--up 2.8 percent--led to a 0.9 percent over-the-month increase in fuel and utilities costs. Household furnishings and operation costs were 1.1 percent higher for the month.
 Food and beverages edged up 0.1 percent from January levels and were 2.9 percent higher than a year ago. Paced by higher prices for fruits and vegetables (up 2.1 percent), grocery prices rose 0.3 percent during the month. Tomatoes and other fresh vegetables were among the items noted higher in price. The cost of alcoholic beverages dropped 0.4 percent in February, and the food away from home index was down 0.1 percent for the month.
 Apparel and upkeep costs, which are susceptible to seasonal fluctuations, increased 1.9 percent over the month to a level 4.7 percent above February 1991. Higher price tags were noted for both footwear (up 2.9 percent) and men's and boys' clothing (up 1.7 percent). Prices for women's and girls' apparel dropped a slight 0.2 percent during the month.
 Transportation costs were 0.2 percent higher than the prior month and 2.0 percent higher than February 1991. Higher prices for gasoline (up 1.9 percent) and new cars were partially responsible for a 0.5 percent hike in the private transportation index. Public transportation costs, which include air fares, were down 1.2 percent for the month and 7.7 percent for the year.
 Medical care costs rose 0.7 percent in February and were 8.6 percent above last year. Entertainment costs were unchanged from January levels but were up 2.1 percent for the year. Spurred by higher priced tobacco and smoking products, the miscellaneous other goods and services index rose 0.4 percent to a level 9.4 percent higher than February 1991.
 Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers:
 Indexes and percent changes for selected periods
 (Data are not seasonally adjusted)
 Los Angeles-Anaheim-Riverside, Calif.
 (1982-84-100, unless otherwise noted)
 Percent changes
 Indexes to Feb. 1992
 from:
 Jan. Feb. Feb. Jan.
 1992 1992 1991 1992
 Expenditure category
 All items .......................... 144.3 144.9 3.6 0.4
 Food and beverages ............... 139.4 139.5 2.9 .1
 Food ........................... 137.6 137.7 2.4 .1
 Food at home ................. 138.9 139.3 1.4 .3
 Food away from home .......... 136.1 136.0 4.2 -.1
 Alcoholic beverages ............ 157.0 156.3 6.5 -.4
 Housing .......................... 147.0 147.7 3.0 .5
 Shelter ........................ 158.0 158.5 3.4 .3
 Fuel and other utilities ....... 133.1 134.3 3.8 .9
 Household furnishings and
 operation .................... 117.1 118.4 .8 1.1
 Apparel and upkeep ............... 132.7 135.2 4.7 1.9
 Transportation ................. 129.3 129.6 2.0 0.2
 Private transportation ......... 126.4 127.0 3.4 .5
 Motor fuel ................... 95.9 97.5 7.1 1.7
 Public transportation .......... 171.3 169.2 -7.7 -1.2
 Medical care ..................... 186.5 187.8 8.6 .7
 Entertainment .................... 133.8 133.8 2.1 .0
 Other goods and services ......... 189.9 190.6 9.4 .4
 Personal care .................. 150.9 151.7 4.5 .5
 Special indexes
 All items less energy .............. 148.3 148.8 3.6 .3
 Energy ............................. 108.4 110.2 3.6 1.7
 -0- 3/17/92
 /CONTACT: Faith Heinemann, 213-252-7518; or Jim Wurth, 213-252-7517, both of the U.S. Dept. of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics/ CO: U.S. Dept. of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics ST: California IN: FIN SU: ECO


JL -- SF002 -- 8712 03/17/92 10:33 EST
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Date:Mar 17, 1992
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