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BAY AREA PRICES ROSE 0.5 PERCENT IN FEBRUARY

 BAY AREA PRICES ROSE 0.5 PERCENT IN FEBRUARY
 SAN FRANCISCO, March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumer prices in the San


Francisco-Oakland-San Jose area increased 0.5 percent in February, according to Regional Commissioner Sam Hirabayashi of the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. He said that six of the seven major expenditure categories rose last month, with increases in the housing, apparel and upkeep, and food and beverages categories accounting for 90 percent of the overall increase. San Francisco-area prices had increased 0.4 percent in January and were unchanged in December 1991. Consumer price index data for local areas are not seasonally adjusted.
 The Bay Area All Items Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers reached 141.0 in February (1982-84-100), a 3.6 percent increase when compared to February 1991 levels. This compares to increases of 4.2 percent and 5.3 percent in the years ending February 1990 and February 1991 respectively.
 The housing category advanced 0.4 percent last month as shelter costs rose 0.5 percent, the fuels and other utilities index edged up 0.1 percent, and the household furnishings and operation component increased 0.4 percent. Within shelter, renters' costs rose 0.9 percent and homeowners' costs increased 0.3 percent. When compared to February 1991 levels, the cost of shelter rose 3.4 percent, the fuels and other utilities index advanced 6.8 percent, and the cost of household furnishings and operation fell 2.3 percent. Overall housing costs rose 3.1 percent in the past year.
 The local cost of food and beverages rose 0.5 percent in February as grocery prices (food at home) increased 0.6 percent, the cost of eating out rose 0.4 percent, and prices for alcoholic beverages advanced 0.9 percent. Prices for fruits and vegetables rose 1.2 percent last month after falling a steep 4.2 percent in January. When compared to year-ago levels, this volatile grocery component was up a moderate 2.8 percent. The meats, poultry, fish, and eggs index rose 0.4 percent while miscellaneous grocery items rose 1.4 percent. Bay Area shoppers benefitted from February declines of 0.6 percent in prices for cereals and bakery products, and 0.7 percent in the cost of dairy products. In the past year, the local cost of food and beverages rose 2.7 percent.
 The cost of apparel and upkeep in the Bay Area surged 3.1 percent in February after decreasing 0.5 percent in January. In February, the index for men's and boys' apparel advanced 7.4 percent, price tags for women's and girls' apparel rose 7.3 percent, and footwear prices fell 2.8 percent. When compared to a year ago, the index for men's and boys' apparel advanced 10.4 percent, the price of women's and girls' apparel rose 5.0 percent, and the cost of footwear increased 9.2 percent. The overall apparel and upkeep category rose 6.1 percent in the last 12 months.
 The cost of transportation in the Bay Area fell 0.3 percent last month as the public transportation index dropped 3.1 percent. The public transportation component, which includes airline fares, was 8.2 percent below February 1991 levels. Gasoline prices rose 0.3 percent in February but these costs were still 5.5 percent below year-ago levels. The overall transportation category declined 0.7 percent from February 1991 to February 1992.
 Medical care costs have advanced 8.6 percent in the past year after rising 1.2 percent last month. The local cost of entertainment edged up 0.1 percent and this category was 5.9 percent above February 1991 levels. A 0.3 percent increase in the cost of personal care helped push up the other goods and services index by 0.4 percent. The other goods and services category, which includes tobacco and smoking products, and the cost of college tuition, advanced 12.5 percent from February 1991 to February 1992.
 Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers:
 Indexes and percent changes for selected periods
 (Data are not seasonally adjusted)
 San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Calif.
 (1982-84-100, unless otherwise noted)
 Percent changes
 Indexes to Feb. 1992
 from:
 Jan. Feb. Feb. Jan.
 1992 1992 1991 1992
 Expenditure category
 All items .......................... 140.3 141.0 3.6 0.5
 Food and beverages ............... 142.2 142.9 2.7 .5
 Food ........................... 141.2 141.9 2.1 .5
 Food at home ................. 142.9 143.7 1.9 .6
 Food away from home .......... 139.9 140.4 2.3 .4
 Alcoholic beverages ............ 149.7 151.0 7.9 .9
 Housing .......................... 144.7 145.3 3.1 .4
 Shelter ........................ 155.9 156.7 3.4 .5
 Fuel and other utilities ....... 137.1 137.3 6.8 .1
 Household furnishings and
 operation .................... 112.0 112.4 -2.3 .4
 Apparel and upkeep ............... 114.2 117.7 6.1 3.1
 Transportation .................. 116.6 116.2 -0.7 -0.3
 Private transportation ......... 114.5 114.7 .9 .2
 Motor fuel ................... 98.1 98.4 -5.6 .3
 Public transportation .......... 139.5 135.2 -8.2 -3.1
 Medical care ..................... 180.1 182.2 8.6 1.2
 Entertainment .................... 156.6 156.7 5.9 .1
 Other goods and services ......... 190.4 191.2 12.5 .4
 Personal care .................. 155.2 155.6 1.5 .3
 Special indexes
 All items less energy .............. 143.6 144.3 3.9 .5
 Energy ............................. 116.0 116.2 -1.4 .2
 -0- 3/17/92
 /CONTACT: Sam Hirabayashi, 415-744-7166; Leon Bornstein, 415-744-7163, both of the U.S. Dept. of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics/ CO: U.S. Dept. of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics ST: California IN: FIN SU: ECO


JL -- SF003 -- 8718 03/17/92 10:44 EST
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Date:Mar 17, 1992
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