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PHILADELPHIA CONSUMER PRICES UNCHANGED IN JANUARY

 PHILADELPHIA CONSUMER PRICES UNCHANGED IN JANUARY
 PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Philadelphia area consumer


prices were unchanged on the whole in January as housing and food and beverages prices rose while apparel and transportation prices declined, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced today.
 Alan M. Paisner, the bureau's regional commissioner, noted that the last time overall prices were unchanged in the local area was February 1988. The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 2.8 percent since last January and at an annual rate of 3.7 percent over the last three months. (See table A.) The last time the 12-month increase in area prices was under 3 percent was in February 1987 when an identical 2.8 percent increase was posted.
 The housing index was higher over the month as every component increased since December. Higher renters' costs and cable television fees helped push the index up. The housing index was up only 3.3 percent since last January.
 Food and beverage prices rose 0.7 percent over the month, the largest one-month increase since last January, and were 1.0 percent higher than 12 months ago. Grocery prices jumped 1.1 percent since December, the largest one-month increase in 13 months. Grocery prices were 0.2 percent lower than a year ago.
 Countering these increases was a decline in apparel prices as all apparel commodities but footwear were priced lower over the month leaving this volatile index only 1.8 percent higher than last January.
 Transportation prices were down 0.4 percent since December as a 2.5 percent decline in motor fuel prices pulled down the entire category. Motor fuel prices were lower than one year before. Transportation was still up 1.8 percent over the year.
 The CPI-U stood at 144.4 on the 1982-84-100 reference base, which means that a market basket of goods and services that cost $100 in 1982- 84 would have cost $144.40 in January of this year. The local Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers Index (CPI-W) decreased 0.1 percent last month and stood at 144.2.
 In the other four cities prices monthly by the bureau, prices rose 0.4 percent in San Francisco and Chicago, 0.5 percent in New York, and 0.8 percent in Los Angeles. Table A. Percent change in CPI-U in Philadelphia (not seasonally adjusted):
 Change from preceding Compound Change for
 month to annual rate 12 months
 Expenditure Nov. Dec. Jan. 3 months ended ended
 category 1991 1991 1992 Jan. 1992 Jan. 1992
 All items 0.1 0.8 0.0 3.7 2.8
 Food & beverages 0.1 0.0 0.7 3.0 1.0
 Housing -0.5 1.5 0.5 6.2 3.3
 Apparel & upkeep 4.1 0.2 -3.4 3.1 1.8
 Transportation 1.0 0.3 -0.4 3.3 1.8
 Medical care 0.1 0.6 -0.8 -0.8 6.8
 Entertainment -0.6 -1.1 0.5 -4.7 4.5
 Other goods & services 0.3 0.4 -0.2 1.7 4.4
 Special index:
 Energy 0.6 -0.4 -0.8 -2.6 -3.8
 /delval/
 -0- 2/19/92
 /CONTACT: Maureen Greene (information), 215-596-1157, or Alan Paisner (media), 215-596-1151, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics/ CO: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics ST: Pennsylvania IN: HOU SU: ECO


MP -- PH010 -- 0296 02/19/92 09:25 EST
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Date:Feb 19, 1992
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