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BAY AREA PRICES FELL 0.2 PERCENT IN APRIL -- HOUSING, FOOD, AND APPAREL COSTS CITED

 BAY AREA PRICES FELL 0.2 PERCENT IN APRIL --
 HOUSING, FOOD, AND APPAREL COSTS CITED
 SAN FRANCISCO, May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumer prices in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose area decreased 0.2 percent in April, according to Regional Commissioner Sam Hirabayashi of the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. He said that three of the seven major expenditure categories declined last month, led by a 0.8 percent decrease in housing costs. It was the first decline in San Francisco area prices since October 1991 when prices fell 0.1 percent. Bay area prices had increased 0.6 percent in March and 0.5 percent in February. Consumer price index data for local areas are not seasonally adjusted.
 The Bay Area All Items Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers fell to 141.6 in April (1982-84-100), a 4.3 percent increase when compared to April 1991 levels. This compares to increases of 4.2 percent and 3.9 percent in the years ending April 1990 and April 1991 respectively. So far this year, local prices have increased 1.3 percent, compared to 0.5 percent in the first four months of 1991.
 Housing costs fell 0.8 percent in April as the shelter component dropped 0.9 percent, the fuel and other utilities index edged up 0.1 percent, and the cost of household furnishings and operation remained unchanged. Within shelter, renters' costs decreased 1.4 percent as other renters' costs, which include lodging while out of town, fell 4.2 percent. Despite April's decline, local housing costs were still 3.8 percent above April 1991 levels.
 The apparel and upkeep index fell 1.7 percent last month as women's and girls' apparel prices dropped a steep 8.5 percent. Price tags for men's and boys' apparel edged down 0.3 percent and the cost of footwear advanced 0.6 percent in April. When compared to year-ago levels, the index for women's and girls' apparel was down 0.5 percent, prices for men's and boys' apparel were up 9.2 percent, footwear costs surged 12.7 percent, and the overall apparel and upkeep category advanced 4.8 percent.
 The food and beverages index declined 0.2 percent as a 0.8 percent decrease in grocery prices (food at home) overcame advances of 0.4 percent in the cost of eating out and 0.8 percent in prices for alcoholic beverages. Fruits and vegetables led the decline in groceries, falling 4.2 percent in April after increasing 3.4 percent in March. In the past year, local prices for fruits and vegetables fell 3.2 percent. The overall food and beverages category was up 1.9 percent when compared to April 1991 levels.
 Transportation costs advanced 0.8 percent in April as gasoline prices increased 0.6 percent and the index for public transportation, which includes airline fares, rose 3.1 percent. When compared to a year ago, public transportation costs were up 6.3 percent, local gasoline prices were 6.8 percent higher, and the overall transportation category increased 3.4 percent.
 The cost of medical care rose 1.2 percent last month and this index was 9.8 percent above year-ago levels. The local cost of entertainment was up 4.2 percent over the past year after a 1.0 percent rise in April. Although the cost of personal care was unchanged, the overall other goods and services index rose 0.6 last month and this index was 13.1 percent over year-ago levels.
 Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers:
 Indexes and percent changes for selected periods
 (Data are not seasonally adjusted)
 San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA
 (1982-84-100, unless otherwise noted)
 Percent changes
 Indexes to Apr. 1992
 from:
 Mar. Apr. Apr. Mar.
 1992 1992 1991 1992
 Expenditure category
 All items .......................... 141.9 141.6 4.3 -0.2
 Food and beverages ............... 143.1 142.8 1.9 -.2
 Food ........................... 142.3 141.9 1.2 -.3
 Food at home ................. 144.1 142.9 .1 -.8
 Food away from home .......... 140.8 141.3 2.6 .4
 Alcoholic beverages ............ 149.1 150.3 7.9 .8
 Housing .......................... 146.6 145.5 3.8 -.8
 Shelter ........................ 158.1 156.6 3.4 -.9
 Fuel and other utilities ....... 137.5 137.7 6.8 .1
 Household furnishings and
 operation ..................... 113.9 113.9 2.9 .0
 Apparel and upkeep ............... 121.6 119.5 4.8 -1.7
 Transportation .................. 116.7 117.6 3.4 0.8
 Private transportation ......... 114.6 114.9 2.9 .3
 Motor fuel ................... 98.0 98.6 6.9 .6
 Public transportation .......... 139.7 144.1 6.3 3.1
 Medical care ..................... 183.1 185.3 9.8 1.2
 Entertainment .................... 156.0 157.5 4.2 1.0
 Other goods and services ......... 191.4 192.5 13.1 .6
 Personal care .................. 156.4 156.4 2.1 .0
 Special indexes
 All items less energy .............. 145.4 145.0 4.3 -.3
 Energy ............................. 115.9 116.2 4.5 .3
 -0- 5/13/92
 /CONTACT: Sam Hirabayashi, 415-744-7166; or Leon Bornstein, 415-744-7163, both of Dept. of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics/ CO: Dept. of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics ST: California IN: FIN SU: ECO


JL -- SF003 -- 9611 05/13/92 11:06 EDT
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Date:May 13, 1992
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