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PITTSBURGH AREA RETAIL PRICES UP 0.9 PERCENT SINCE OCTOBER, 4.1 PERCENT OVER THE YEAR

 PITTSBURGH AREA RETAIL PRICES UP 0.9 PERCENT SINCE OCTOBER,
 4.1 PERCENT OVER THE YEAR
 PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Retail prices in the Pittsburgh-Beaver Valley area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), rose 0.9 percent for the two-month period ended December 1991, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
 Alan M. Paisner, the bureau's regional commissioner, noted that the rise in the housing index accounted for over half of the overall increase in local retail prices. The CPI-U for Allegheny, Beaver, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties stood 4.1 percent higher in December of this year than 12 months ago, marking the lowest December-to-December change since 1988. (See table A.)
 Paced by more expensive shelter, the housing index rose 1.2 percent over the last two months. More expensive household furnishings and operation (housekeeping supplies in particular) also put upward pressure on overall retail prices. The increase in the overall housing index was moderated by a two-month decline in the price of household fuels and other utilities.
 The food and beverage index moved 1.8 percent higher since October, primarily due to more expensive grocery items. Local grocery prices, which are surveyed monthly by the bureau, rose 0.4 percent in December following a 1.9 percent increase in November.
 Transportation prices, up 1 percent since October, rose for the fourth consecutive bimonthly period, yet remained 3.3 percent lower than levels reached one year ago. Public transportation prices rose almost 9 percent over the two-month period but were still 1.8 percent lower than a year ago.
 Apparel and upkeep was the only major expenditure category to display a price drop over the last two months -- this was in keeping with the normal seasonal decline in apparel prices that occurs in December.
 The CPI-U for the Pittsburgh-Beaver Valley area stood at 134.4 on the 1982-84 equals 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 $134.40 in December. The local Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) rose 0.9 percent since October to 128.7, up 3.6 percent over the year.
 PERCENT CHANGES IN CPI FOR ALL URBAN CONSUMERS (CPI-U)
 PITTSBURGH-BEAVER VALLEY AREA
 (NOT SEASONALLY ADJUSTED)
 Change for two Change for
 months ended 12 months
 Expenditure Aug. Oct. Dec. ended
 category 1991 1991 1991 Dec. 1991
 All items 0.6 1.3 0.9 4.1
 Food & beverages -0.5 0.2 1.8 5.3
 Housing 0.3 1.1 1.2 6.1
 Apparel & upkeep 3.5 4.7 -2.8 5.0
 Transportation 0.2 1.4 1.0 -3.3
 Medical care 2.5 0.9 0.4 9.2
 Entertainment 1.0 -0.4 0.6 3.1
 Other goods & services 1.2 3.3 1.5 4.2
 Special index:
 Energy -1.3 1.9 0.1 -5.0
 -0- 1/16/92
 /CONTACT: Kevin Babyak, information, 215-596-1154, or Maureen Greene, media, 215-596-1157, both of U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics/ CO: U.S. Department of Labor ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU: ECO


DM -- PG006 -- 0385 01/16/92 09:52 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 16, 1992
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