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ANCHORAGE CONSUMER PRICES INCREASED 1.1 PERCENT IN THE SECOND HALF OF 1991

 ANCHORAGE CONSUMER PRICES INCREASED 1.1 PERCENT
 IN THE SECOND HALF OF 1991
 SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Prices paid by consumers in the Anchorage metropolitan area rose 1.1 percent during the second half of 1991 according to Sam Hirabayashi, regional commissioner of the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. This semiannual increase pushed the index up 3.6 percent above the same period a year ago, and was the smallest annual gain in two years. (Second half to second half 1988-89 was 3.3 percent.) Higher shelter costs for both renters and homeowners were a major factor in this most recent advance. The All Items Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers in Anchorage reached 124.7 (1982-84-100) in the latter six months of 1991. Consumer Price Index data for the area are not seasonally adjusted.
 A strong surge in shelter costs, up 5.0 percent, with higher costs for both renters and homeowners was responsible for the 3.2 percent increase in the housing index during the July to December period of 1991. Household fuels and other utilities dropped 1.0 percent and household furnishings and operation charges edged up 0.3 percent in this latest six-month period. Over the year, the shelter component rose 8.7 percent while the overall housing group gained 6.9 percent. This latest increase in Anchorage area shelter costs raised this index, for the first time, over (up 4.6 percent) its peak level attained in the first half of 1986.
 A 9.8 percent drop in the price of fruits and vegetables was almost entirely responsible for the 2.6 percent fall in grocery prices between the first and second halves of last year. The fruits and vegetables index was at an unusually high level in the first half of 1991 as the California freeze in December 1990 and other weather conditions adversely affected supplies. As compared with the same period of the prior year, fruits and vegetables prices have risen 1.6 percent while total grocery prices have moved up 0.5 percent. Meats, poultry, and fish also posted a decline in the second half of 1991, falling 2.9 percent, and bringing prices 3.3 percent below the same period of a year ago. All other grocery items, along with food consumed away from home, registered increases during the period while alcoholic beverage prices dropped 2.5 percent.
 Apparel and upkeep costs, which have been trending down since the first half of 1990, advanced 3.6 percent in the latter six months of 1991. Higher prices were noted for all apparel items with the largest increase showing up on price tags of women's and girls' clothing, up 7.8 percent. Since the last half of 1990, women's and girls' apparel prices have increased 7.1 percent, footwear moved up 7.5 percent, while men's and boys' apparel has dropped 5.6 percent.
 The overall transportation index fell 2.8 percent in the second half of last year as private transportation costs edged down 0.8 percent and public transportation fares plummeted 11.6 percent. The decline in private transportation costs was due to a steep drop in motor fuel prices, down 9.9 percent, as prices at the gasoline pump continued to fall. Over the year, private transportation costs were down 1.4 percent, and the public transportation index was lower by 8.0 percent.
 Medical care costs continued upward increasing 4.0 percent in the second half of 1991. For the year, the medical care index advanced 9.0 percent. Entertainment costs rose 0.9 percent in the last semiannual period of the year and advanced 1.8 percent over the same period last year. The other goods and services index increased 2.8 percent in the latter six months of 1991 and posted a 8.1 percent gain over-the-year. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers: Indexes for semiannual averages and percent changes for selected periods (Data are not seasonally adjusted) Anchorage, Alaska (1982-84-100, unless otherwise noted)
 Percent change
 Semiannual to 2Nd half
 average index 1991 from-
 1st 2Nd 2Nd 1st
 half half half half
 1991 1991 1990 1991
 Expenditure category
 All items .......................... 123.3 124.7 3.6 1.1
 Food and beverages ............... 128.2 127.2 1.8 -.8
 Food ........................... 126.7 126.0 1.0 -.6
 Food at home ................. 133.6 130.1 .5 -2.6
 Food away from home .......... 117.8 119.3 2.8 1.3
 Alcoholic beverages ............ 136.8 133.4 6.4 -2.5
 Housing .......................... 109.5 113.0 6.9 3.2
 Shelter ........................ 102.8 107.9 8.7 5.0
 Fuel and other utilities ....... 137.2 135.8 3.4 -1.0
 Household furnishings & operation 117.4 117.7 3.8 .3
 Apparel and upkeep ............... 124.4 128.9 1.0 3.6
 Transportation .................. 123.4 120.0 -2.5 -2.8
 Private transportation ......... 117.7 116.7 -1.4 -.8
 Motor fuel ................... 98.8 89.0 -22.0 -9.9
 Public transportation .......... 159.7 141.1 -8.0 -11.6
 Medical care ..................... 170.1 176.9 9.0 4.0
 Entertainment .................... 148.1 149.4 1.8 .9
 Other goods and services ......... 164.6 169.2 8.1 2.8
 Personal care .................. 124.8 132.8 10.9 6.4
 Special indexes
 All items less energy .............. 124.2 126.2 4.6 1.6
 Energy ............................. 115.6 108.8 -8.8 -5.9
 -0- 2/19/92
 /CONTACT: Joyce Sakai of U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, 415-744-7132/ CO: U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics ST: Alaska IN: FIN SU: ECO


DG -- SF010 -- 0429 02/19/92 12:00 EST
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Date:Feb 19, 1992
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