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PITTSBURGH PRICES UP 1.3 PERCENT; LARGEST 2-MONTH INCREASE THIS YEAR

PITTSBURGH PRICES UP 1.3 PERCENT; LARGEST 2-MONTH INCREASE THIS YEAR
 PITTSBURGH, Nov. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Retail prices in the Pittsburgh-Beaver Valley area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), rose 1.3 percent for the 2-month period ended October 1991, the largest 2-month change in a year, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
 Alan M. Paisner, the bureau's regional commissioner, noted that higher housing costs paced the overall advance. The CPI-U for Allegheny, Beaver, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland counties stood 2.8 percent higher in October of this year than 12 months ago.
 Shelter costs rose 1.1 percent since August, pushing the overall housing index up 1.1 percent over the same period. Household fuels and other utilities rose 1.7 percent since August, following two consecutive bimonthly declines. Monthly data show that there was a sharp rise in the price of home heating oil in October, up 8.4 percent; although home heating oil prices normally rise in the fall, this marked the sharpest rise since last October when the disturbance in the Middle East helped push the index up 13.3 percent.
 Reflecting normal seasonal markups, apparel prices rose 4.7 percent since August as most apparel commodities became more expensive. Higher priced women's and girls' apparel (particularly women's dresses) contributed most to the recent advance.
 The 2-month advance in transportation prices, up 1.4 percent, was chiefly the result of more costly private transportation (higher prices for new cars and automobile insurance were primarily responsible). The motor fuel index, published monthly by the bureau, fell in October -- as it normally does. Overall transportation prices were 4.3 percent lower than levels experienced 1 year ago.
 The other goods and services index also put upward pressure on local retail prices. The index rose 3.3 percent over the last 2 months and 3.7 percent over the year. Medical care prices rose moderately since August, up 0.9 percent, the lowest 2-month increase since June 1990.
 Food and beverage prices were up slightly over the last 2 months as both the food and alcoholic beverage index rose 0.2 percent since August. Monthly data show that grocery prices fell slightly in October, entirely due to less expensive meats, poultry, fish, and eggs. Higher dairy prices nearly offset the drop in prices at the butcher counter. The only major component to display a 2-month decline was entertainment.
 The CPI-U for the area stood at 133.2 on the 1982-84 equals 100 reference base, which means that a market basket of goods and services which averaged $100 in the 1982-84 period would have cost $133.20 in October. The local Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) rose 1.3 percent since August to 127.5, up 2.3 percent over the year.
 Percent changes in CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI- U)
 in the Pittsburgh-Beaver Valley area, not seasonally adjusted
 Change for 2 Change for
 months ended 12 months
 Expenditure June Aug. Oct. ended
 category 1991 1991 1991 Oct. 1991
 All items 0.3 0.6 1.3 2.8
 Food & beverages 0.2 -0.5 0.2 2.5
 Housing 0.8 0.3 1.1 4.4
 Apparel & upkeep -4.9 3.5 4.7 5.0
 Transportation 1.1 0.2 1.4 -4.3
 Medical care 2.4 2.5 0.9 9.8
 Entertainment -0.1 1.0 -0.4 3.5
 Other goods
 & services 0.1 1.2 3.3 3.7
 Special index:
 Energy 2.1 -1.3 1.9 -4.5
 -0- 11/14/91
 /CONTACT: Kevin Babyak, information, 215-596-1154, or Maureen Greene, media, 215-596-1157, both of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics/ CO: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU: ECO PT -- PG004 -- 4311 11/14/91 09:52 EST
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Date:Nov 14, 1991
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