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BALTIMORE AREA RETAIL PRICES UP 0.6 PERCENT SINCE NOVEMBER HIGHER HOUSING COSTS MAINLY RESPONSIBLE

 BALTIMORE, Feb. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Retail prices in the Baltimore area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), rose 0.6 percent since November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
 Alan M. Paisner, the bureau's regional commissioner, noent higher in January of this year than 12 months ago. (See table A.)
 The housing index rose 1.0 percent since November due to higher shelter costs, the increase followed a 1.7 percent decline. Both renters' and homeowners' costs were higher since November. Natural gas prices rose for the eighth consecutive month to a level 16.8 percent higher over the year. Household furnishings and operation prices dropped 1.3 percent since November.
 Since November other goods and services and entertainment prices moved up 1.5 and 2.6 percent, respectively. The medical care index rose 1.7 percent during the bimonthly period ending January, due in part to higher prices for hospital rooms.
 Food and beverage prices were up 0.6 percent since November, due mainly to higher priced groceries. Priced monthly, grocery prices exhibited their largest rise since August because of an increase in prices at the butcher counter. Dairy products was the only grocery category to display lower prices in January.
 Apparel and upkeep prices fell 2.2 percent over the last two months due to a seasonal drop of 6.7 percent in women's and girls' apparel prices. Men's and boys' apparel prices rose 1.1 percent since November.
 The transportation index fell 0.5 percent since November, caused by lower gasoline prices during the last two months. Gasoline, which is priced monthly, fell 1.1 percent in December and 2.2 percent in January.
 The CPI-U for the Baltimore area stood at 142.0 on the 1982-84=100 reference base, which means that a market basket of goods and services which averaged $100 in the 1982-84 period would have cost $142.00 in January. The local Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) rose 0.5 percent since November to 141.3, up 2.9 percent over the year.


Table A.: Percent change, Baltimore area CPI-U, not seasonally adjusted.
 Change for two Change for
 months ended 12 months
 Expenditure Sept. Nov. Jan. ended
 category 1992 1992 1993 Jan. 1993
 All items 0.9 -0.6 0.6 2.9
 Food & beverages 1.2 -0.5 0.6 1.4
 Housing -0.1 -1.7 1.0 1.7
 Apparel & upkeep 6.5 -2.2 -2.2 0.6
 Transportation 0.0 1.4 -0.5 2.4
 Medical care 1.2 1.7 1.7 7.0
 Entertainment 0.1 -1.4 2.6 3.0
 Other goods & services 3.8 0.7 1.5 11.3
 Special index:
 Energy 0.0 -5.3 -0.8 1.5
 -0- 2/18/93
 /CONTACT: Michelle Weihmann (information), 215-596-1154, or Maureen Greene (media), 215-596-1157, 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

MP -- PH009 -- 7723 02/18/93 09:10 EST
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Date:Feb 18, 1993
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