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BALTIMORE CONSUMER PRICES ROSE MODERATELY SINCE NOVEMBER

 BALTIMORE CONSUMER PRICES ROSE MODERATELY SINCE NOVEMBER
 BALTIMORE, Feb. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Retail prices in the Baltimore area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), rose 0.1 percent during December and January, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
 Alan M. Paisner, the bureau's regional commissioner, noted higher food and beverage and medical care prices were partially offset by declines in apparel and transportation prices. The CPI-U for Baltimore City and the counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, Howard, and Queen Annes stood 2.8 percent higher than 12 months ago. (See table A.)
 Food and beverage prices jumped 1.3 percent since November, the largest bimonthly advance in a year and a half. Local grocery prices, surveyed monthly by the bureau, edged upward in January after rising sharply in December. Food and beverage prices rose only 1 percentage point since January 1991.
 Medical care prices moved 2.1 percent higher since November, and were 8.2 percent higher in January than one year ago. The other goods and services index rose 0.2 percent over the last two months and 8.2 percent over the year.
 Apparel prices displayed a sharp decline since November yet remained 0.6 percent higher than year ago levels. Lower transportation costs also put downward pressure on overall retail prices. The recent decline was solely due to a 0.4 percent drop in the private transportation index (largely due to lower automobile finance charges). Higher public transportation prices moderated the decline in the transportation index.
 The housing index remained unchanged over the last two months as more expensive shelter and household fuels and other utilities were offset by lower priced household furnishings and operation. The overall housing index rose 3.4 percent over the last 12 months.
 The CPI-U for the Baltimore area stood at 138.0 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 $138 in January. The local Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) rose 0.2 percent since November to 137.3, up 2.7 percent over the year.
 Table A.:
 Percent changes in CPI-U in the Baltimore area, not seasonally adjusted.
 Change for two Change for
 months ended 12 months
 Expenditure Sep. Nov. Jan. ended
 category 1991 1991 1992 Jan. 1992
 All items 1.2 -0.3 0.1 2.8
 Food & beverages -0.7 -0.4 1.3 1.0
 Housing 1.6 -1.6 0.0 3.4
 Apparel & upkeep 3.6 -0.4 -2.9 0.5
 Transportation 1.0 1.4 -0.2 -0.7
 Medical care 0.0 2.8 2.1 8.2
 Entertainment 2.5 1.2 0.1 5.3
 Other goods & services 2.5 0.0 0.2 8.2
 Special index:
 Energy 1.2 -5.0 -0.7 5.2
 -0- 2/19/92
 /CONTACT: Mr. K. Babyak (information), 215-596-1154, or Ms. M. 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 -- PH011 -- 0309 02/19/92 09:38 EST
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Date:Feb 19, 1992
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