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CONSUMER PRICE INDEX UP 0.1 PERCENT IN THE WESTERN REGION IN MAY, JUMP IN GASOLINE PRICES NOTED

 CONSUMER PRICE INDEX UP 0.1 PERCENT IN THE WESTERN REGION IN MAY,
 JUMP IN GASOLINE PRICES NOTED
 SAN FRANCISCO, June 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumer prices in the thirteen westernmost states edged up 0.1 percent in May, according to Sam Hirabayashi, regional commissioner of the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. A steep 6.4 percent increase in gasoline prices was only partially offset by declines in housing and groceries. The All Items Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for the West reached 141.4 (1982-84-100), up 3.7 percent for the year. This latest 12-month change matched the annual increase noted in April. Consumer Price Index data for the region are not seasonally adjusted.
 Private transportation costs advanced 1.4 percent over the month as gasoline prices rose for the fifth consecutive month. Gasoline prices jumped 6.4 percent in May and posted an 8.6 percent gain for the year. Public transportation fares fell 1.3 percent during the month, countering some of the increase in private transportation and resulting in a 1.2 percent gain in the overall transportation index.
 The food and beverages index fell 0.6 percent in May as a result of lower food at home costs. A 6.3 percent drop in the price of fruits and vegetables was almost entirely responsible for the 1.4 percent fall-off in grocery prices. Other grocery items also posted declines in May: Cereals and bakery products were down 0.1 percent, meats, poultry, fish and eggs receded 0.2 percent, and nonalcoholic beverages fell 0.3 percent. For the year, fruits and vegetables prices dropped a steep 9.2 percent pulling total grocery prices down 0.9 percent. The cost of food consumed away from home edged up 0.1 percent for the month, while alcoholic beverages prices advanced 0.2 percent.
 The housing index edged down 0.1 percent in the month as lower housefurnishings prices, down 2.8 percent, and shelter costs, down 0.1 percent, offset an 8.9 percent hike in residential gas charges. Prices paid for residential gas have risen 16.7 percent in the last two months but were 2.9 percent below year-ago levels. The overall fuel and other utilities index posted a 1.6 percent increase for the month and a 3.8 percent advance for the year. From May 1991 to May 1992, housing has moved up 3.5 percent, largely on the strength of a 4.1 percent rise in shelter costs.
 Apparel prices advanced 0.9 percent in May, as higher priced women's and girls' clothing, up 2.7 percent, and other apparel commodities, up 1.3 percent, were only partially offset by declines in all the other apparel categories. Price tags on men's and boys' apparel fell 1.1 percent from their April levels, while infants' and toddlers' apparel, dropped 1.2 percent, and footwear moved down 0.9 percent. Apparel services edged up 0.1 percent for the month and increased 2.5 percent over the past 12 months. Over the year, apparel prices advanced 5.0 percent with women's and girls' clothing posting the largest gains, up 8.0 percent.
 Medical care costs increased 0.2 percent during the month and were 7.8 percent above the year-ago level. Entertainment costs dipped 0.1 percent and posted a 2.7 percent gain for the year. A 1.6 percent drop in the prices of personal care items was a major factor in the 0.2 percent decline in the other goods and services index in May. This miscellaneous other category was up 8.1 percent for the year, with personal and educational expenses and tobacco and smoking products contributing about equally to the annual rise.
 Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers:
 Indexes and percent changes for selected periods
 (Data are not seasonally adjusted)
 West (1982-84-100, unless otherwise noted)
 Percent changes
 Indexes to May 1992
 from:
 Apr. May May Apr.
 1992 1992 1991 1992
 Expenditure category
 All items .......................... 141.3 141.4 3.7 0.1
 Food and beverages ............... 139.9 139.0 .9 -.6
 Food ........................... 138.7 137.6 .4 -.8
 Food at home ................. 139.3 137.4 -.9 -1.4
 Food away from home .......... 138.2 138.4 2.4 .1
 Alcoholic beverages ............ 151.7 152.0 4.6 .2
 Housing .......................... 140.5 140.4 3.5 -.1
 Shelter ........................ 151.5 151.3 4.1 -.1
 Fuel and other utilities ....... 124.1 126.1 3.8 1.6
 Household furnishings and
 operation ..................... 117.7 116.4 1.0 -1.1
 Apparel and upkeep ............... 128.2 129.2 4.7 0.8
 Transportation ................... 127.1 128.6 4.2 1.2
 Private transportation ......... 124.6 126.4 4.6 1.4
 Motor fuel ................... 96.8 102.9 8.3 6.3
 Public transportation .......... 158.7 156.6 1.1 -1.3
 Medical care ..................... 189.4 189.8 7.8 .2
 Entertainment .................... 143.6 143.5 2.7 -.1
 Other goods and services ......... 182.9 182.5 8.1 -.2
 Personal care .................. 145.7 143.4 2.0 -1.6
 Special indexes
 Energy ............................. 105.5 110.5 4.3 4.7
 All items less energy .............. 145.5 145.3 3.7 -.1
 -0- 6/12/92
 /CONTACT: Joyce Sakai, 415-744-7132; 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 -- SF005 -- 9610 06/12/92 10:51 EDT
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Date:Jun 12, 1992
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