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SEATTLE AREA PRICES ROSE 1.2 PERCENT IN THE FIRST HALF OF 1993 3.0 PERCENT ABOVE A YEAR AGO

    SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumer prices in the Seattle area increased 1.2 percent in the first half of 1993, according to Sam Hirabayashi, the regional commissioner of the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    He said that prices for the area, which cover, King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties rose in six of the seven major expenditure categories, with only the index for apparel and upkeep showing a decline.  Seattle area prices had increased 1.9 percent in the first half of 1992 and 1.7 percent in the second half of 1992.  Consumer Price Index data for local areas are not seasonally adjusted.
    The area's semiannual All Items Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers reached 141.9 (1982-84 equals 100) in the first half of 1993, 3.0 percent above the level in the first half of 1992.  This was the smallest over-the-year increase in the Seattle area since the 1.5 percent advance for the year ending the first half of 1987.
    Prices for food and beverages rose 1.2 percent in the first half of 1993 as grocery prices rose 1.8 percent, the cost of eating out (food away from home) increased 1.5 percent, and prices for alcoholic beverages rose 0.7 percent.  Within the grocery component (food at home), prices for fruits and vegetables rose 8.0 percent in the first half of 1993, but this index was only 1.6 percent above the level in the first half of 1992.  Also increasing in the latest six month period were the indexes for dairy products, 2.3 percent, and cereals and bakery products, 0.7 percent.  Prices for miscellaneous grocery items remained unchanged, and the index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs fell 1.0 percent.  Seattle-area prices for food and beverages had been unchanged in the second half of 1992.  As a result, this category was up 1.2 percent when compared to a year ago.
    The cost of housing rose 1.3 percent in the first half of 1993 and this index was up 2.7 percent over-the-year.  Shelter costs rose 1.4 percent, the index for fuel and other utilities advanced 2.1 percent, and the cost of household furnishings and operation increased 0.6 percent in the latest six-month period.
    A 4.1 percent decline in price tags for women's and girls' apparel contributed to a 2.9 percent decrease in the index for apparel and upkeep.  Also declining in the first half of 1992 were prices for footwear, 2.7 percent.  Men's and boys' apparel prices rose 0.5 in the first half of the year.  When compared to the first half of 1992, the index for apparel and upkeep in the Seattle area was down 2.5 percent.
    The cost of transportation edged up 0.5 percent in the first half of 1993 as a 9.5 percent increase in the public transportation index, which includes airline fares, overcame a 7.1 percent decline in gasoline prices.  When compared to a year ago, the cost of public transportation rose 10.1 percent, gasoline prices edged up 0.4 percent, and the overall transportation category advanced 3.9 percent.
    The cost of medical care rose 2.8 percent in the latest six-month period and this index was up 6.2 percent over-the-year.  The cost of entertainment in the Seattle area rose 1.1 percent in the first half of 1993 and this index was 4.2 percent above year-ago levels.  A 1.7 percent increase in the cost of personal care contributed to a 3.8 percent rise in the cost of other goods and services.
    Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers: Indexes for
    semiannual averages and percent changes for selected periods
              (Data are not seasonally adjusted)
    Seattle-Tacoma, Wash. (1982-84 equals 100, unless otherwise noted)
                                                       Percent change
                                             Semiannual   to 1st half
                                           average index   1993 from:
                                             2nd    1st   1st    2nd
                                             half   half  half   half
                                             1992   1993  1992   1992
            Expenditure category
    All items                               140.2  141.9   3.0    1.2
    All items (1967 equals 100)             427.3  432.4   ---    ---
      Food and beverages                    141.1  142.8   1.2    1.2
        Food                                141.1  142.8   1.1    1.2
          Food at home                      135.7  138.1    .2    1.8
            Cereals and bakery products     154.0  155.1   3.1     .7
            Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs  123.8  122.6   -.9   -1.0
              Meats, poultry, and fish      124.0  122.9   -.8    -.9
            Dairy products                  124.1  126.9   -.6    2.3
            Fruits and vegetables           162.4  175.4   1.6    8.0
            Other food at home              128.4  128.4   -.9     .0
          Food away from home               149.6  151.9   2.9    1.5
        Alcoholic beverages                 141.0  142.0   1.9     .7
      Housing                               140.2  142.0   2.7    1.3
        Shelter                             155.3  157.4   2.9    1.4
          Renters' costs (A)                165.7  165.4    .6    -.2
            Rent, residential               150.2  151.7   2.0    1.0
            Other renters' costs            212.0  206.1  -2.7   -2.8
          Homeowners' costs (A)             158.8  161.7   4.1    1.8
            Owners' equivalent rent (A)     158.7  161.7   4.2    1.9
        Fuel and other utilities            103.1  105.3   4.6    2.1
          Fuels                              98.1  100.7   4.0    2.7
            Fuel oil and other household
                fuel commodities             89.4   91.9   7.9    2.8
              Fuel oil                       88.8   91.3   7.9    2.8
              Other household fuel
                  commodities (B)            NA     NA     ---    ---
            Gas (piped) and electricity     118.3  121.3   3.4    2.5
              Electricity                   130.9  133.9   3.4    2.3
              Utility (piped) gas            76.5   79.4   3.8    3.8
        Household furnishings and operation 124.3  125.1    .2     .6
      Apparel and upkeep                    118.9  115.5  -2.5   -2.9
        Apparel commodities                 116.5  112.7  -3.3   -3.3
          Men's and boys' apparel           112.7  113.3  -1.9     .5
          Women's and girls' apparel         96.1   92.2  -9.6   -4.1
          Footwear                          120.1  116.8   1.6   -2.7
      Transportation                        126.0  126.6   3.9    0.5
        Private transportation              129.4  128.9   3.3    -.4
          Motor fuel                        103.9   96.6    .4   -7.0
            Gasoline                        104.0   96.6    .4   -7.1
              Gasoline, leaded regular       NA     NA     ---    ---
              Gasoline, unleaded regular    101.7   94.8    .6   -6.8
              Gasoline, unleaded premium    106.6  100.2   -.3   -6.0
        Public transportation               105.4  115.4  10.1    9.5
      Medical care                          187.1  192.4   6.2    2.8
      Entertainment                         142.3  143.8   4.2    1.1
      Other goods and services              172.1  178.6   7.6    3.8
        Personal care                       128.0  130.2    .3    1.7
                     Special indexes
    All items less energy                   144.7  146.8   2.9    1.5
    Energy                                  101.6   98.6   2.0   -3.0
        (A)    Indexes on a November 1982 equals 100 base.
        (B)    Indexes on a December 1986 equals 100 base.
        NA     Data not adequate for publication.
       ---     Data not available.
    -0-             08/13/93
    CONTACT: Leon Bornstein, 415-744-7163, or Joyce Sakai, 415-744-7133, both of the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics CO:  U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS IN:  HOU SU:  ECO ST:  WA


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Date:Aug 13, 1993
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