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BALTIMORE AREA GROCERY PRICES DOWN OVER THE YEAR; LOWER ELECTRICITY PRICES CAUSE ENERGY INDEX TO FALL

            BALTIMORE AREA GROCERY PRICES DOWN OVER THE YEAR;
           LOWER ELECTRICITY PRICES CAUSE ENERGY INDEX TO FALL
    BALTIMORE, Nov. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Grocery prices in the Baltimore area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), fell 1.1 percent in October, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
    Alan M. Paisner, the bureau's regional commissioner, noted that less expensive produce contributed most to the decline.  Since October 1990, the food at home index for Baltimore City and the counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, Howard and Queen Annes fell 0.2 percent.  (See table.)  This was the first over-the-year decline in over eight years.
    Fruits and vegetables prices fell 4.1 percent since September, marking the fourth consecutive one-month decline, and were 3.7 percent higher over the year.  Prices at the butcher counter fell for the third straight month and posted the largest 12-month decrease in eight years. Dairy products was the only major grocery category to show an increase in price over the month.
    The Baltimore food at home index stood at 136.3 on the 1982-84 base, which means that grocery shoppers in the Baltimore area would have had to spend $13.63 last month for a market basket of food items that cost $10 in 1982-84.
    Reflecting normal seasonal patterns, electricity prices fell 16.5 percent over the month.  That decrease was the main reason for the 6.3 percent decline in the energy index since September.  Motor fuel prices also declined in October and posted the largest 12-month decrease in over four years (17.3 percent), reflecting the decline since the post-invasion peak in December.
    A 4.2 percent increase in the price of home heating oil over the month moderated the effect of lower electricity and motor fuel prices. However, home heating oil displayed a sharp 12-month decrease of 24.3 percent -- the greatest 12-month decrease in over four years -- as prices returned to levels near those before the crisis in the Persian Gulf.
             CONSUMER PRICE INDEX FOR ALL URBAN CONSUMERS:
        BALTIMORE AREA, OCTOBER 1991, NOT SEASONALLY ADJUSTED
            (1982-84 equals 100, unless otherwise noted)
                                          Index      Percent
                        GROUP              Oct.    change to Oct.
                                           1991     1991 from
                                                   Sept.   Oct.
                                                   1991    1990
    Food at home                          136.3    -1.1   -0.2
      Cereals and bakery products         159.8    -0.9    4.2
      Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs      128.0    -0.7   -2.8
       Meats, poultry and fish            129.8    -0.5   -2.6
      Dairy products                      134.9     1.1   -2.6
      Fruits and vegetables               146.8    -4.1    3.7
      Other foods at home                 129.6    -0.9   -0.9
    Energy                                100.5    -6.3   -7.8
    Fuels                                 100.7   -10.7    3.0
      Fuel oil                             86.0     4.2  -24.3
      Gas (piped) and electricity         114.7   -13.0    9.7
       Electricity                        128.2   -16.5   16.2
       Utility (piped) gas                 85.2     0.8   -7.4
    Motor fuel                            101.3    -0.7  -17.3
      Gasoline                            100.2    -0.9  -17.1
       Gasoline, unleaded regular          97.8    -1.3  -18.8
       Gasoline, unleaded premium         102.6    -0.3  -15.1
    -0-                        11/14/91
    /CONTACT:  Michelle Weihmann (information), 215-596-1154, oe?en Greene (media), 215-596-1157, both of the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics/ CO:  U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics ST:  Maryland IN:  HOU SU:  ECO LJ -- PH006 -- 4289 11/14/91 09:29 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 14, 1991
Words:569
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