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CONSUMER PRICES FOR THE WEST--MARCH 1993

 SAN FRANCISCO, April 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Prices paid by consumers in the 13 westernmost states were unchanged in March, according to Sam Hirabayashi, Regional Commissioner of the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. He said that declines in the transportation, medical care, and entertainment categories, offset increases in the four other major expenditure categories. The All Items, Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for the West remained at 145.2 (1982-84=100), up 2.9 percent for the year. Consumer price index data for local areas are not seasonally adjusted.
 Food and beverages prices edged up 0.1 percent in March as grocery prices (food at home) rose 0.3 percent, the cost of eating out (food away from home) increased 0.1 percent, and prices for alcoholic beverages fell 0.9 percent. Within the grocery component, the index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs rose 1.3 percent, and there were price rises of 0.4 percent for cereals and bakery products, and 0.2 percent for dairy products. Prices for fruits and vegetables fell 0.2 percent and the other food at home category also declined, by 0.5 percent. The overall cost of food and beverages rose a moderate 1.5 percent from March 1992 to March 1993.
 Prices for apparel and upkeep, subject to seasonal fluctuations, rose 0.8 percent in March after a 3.0 percent jump in February. Despite these increases, the index for apparel and upkeep in the region was down 0.5 percent when compared to March 1992 levels. Last month, price tags for infants' and toddlers' apparel rose 2.5 percent, while there were advances of 2.1 percent in prices for women's and girls' apparel. Prices for both men's and boys' apparel and apparel services edged up 0.1 percent, and the cost of other apparel commodities fell 2.4 percent.
 The transportation category in the region fell 0.4 percent as there were declines of 0.3 percent in the cost of private transportation, and 0.6 percent in the index for public transportation. Within private transportation, declines in prices for new vehicles, gasoline, and other private transportation costs more than offset increases of 0.5 percent in the index for used cars, and 0.1 percent in the cost of maintenance and repairs. The gasoline price decrease, 1.1 percent, was the fourth consecutive monthly decline, but the gasoline index was still up 10.7 percent when compared to year-ago levels. Overall transportation costs rose 4.7 percent from March 1992 to March 1993.
 Housing costs edged up 0.1 percent last month as the cost of shelter remained unchanged, the fuel and other utilities index rose 0.2 percent, and the cost of household furnishings and operation increased 0.1 percent. The overall housing category rose a moderate 2.0 percent over-the-year.
 Declines of 0.1 percent in the index for both medical care commodities and medical care services resulted in a 0.1 percent decrease in the medical care category. Despite last month's decline, the cost of medical care in the region rose 6.0 percent from March 1992 to March 1993. The cost of entertainment goods and services rose 2.4 percent over-the-year despite a decrease of 0.3 percent in this category in March.
 A rise of 1.1 percent in the cost of personal care contributed to an increase of 0.2 percent in other goods and services. Prices for tobacco and smoking products fell 0.3 percent last month but this index was still 10.4 percent above year-ago levels. The overall other goods and services category rose 8.0 percent over-the-year.
 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 Mar. 1993
 from:
 Feb. Mar. Mar. Feb.
 1993 1993 1992 1993
 Expenditure category
 All items 145.2 145.2 2.9 0.0
 All items (December 1977=100) 234.7 234.7 - -
 Food and beverages 142.1 142.2 1.5 .1
 Food 140.9 141.2 1.6 .2
 Food at home 141.5 141.9 1.4 .3
 Cereals and bakery products 157.6 158.3 4.7 .4
 Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs 133.9 135.7 2.8 1.3
 Dairy products 133.1 133.3 2.7 .2
 Fruits and vegetables 165.2 164.8 -2.6 -.2
 Other food at home 130.7 130.1 .6 -.5
 Sugar and sweets 137.8 136.3 -2.9 -1.1
 Fats and oils 129.6 131.0 .8 1.1
 Nonalcoholic beverages 112.2 111.4 .0 -.7
 Other prepared food 144.1 143.6 2.1 -.3
 Food away from home 140.4 140.5 1.9 .1
 Alcoholic beverages 153.9 152.5 1.3 -.9
 Housing 143.3 143.4 2.0 .1
 Shelter 155.1 155.1 2.0 .0
 Renters' costs 1/ 167.4 167.1 .7 -.2
 Rent, residential 152.2 151.9 1.3 -.2
 Other renters' costs 198.6 197.9 -1.5 -.4
 Homeowners' costs 1/ 163.0 163.2 2.6 .1
 Owners' equivalent rent 1/ 163.1 163.4 2.6 .2
 Maintenance and repairs 125.9 126.4 3.3 .4
 Maintenance and repair services 125.4 125.4 - .0
 Maintenance and repair
 commodities 130.0 131.3 -3.3 1.0
 Fuel and other utilities 127.2 127.4 3.6 .2
 Fuels 121.8 121.3 3.5 -.4
 Fuel oil and other household
 fuel commodities 99.8 99.7 5.8 -.1
 Fuel oil 105.2 104.1 8.1 -1.0
 Other household fuel
 commodities 2/ 115.8 116.1 4.9 .3
 Gas (piped) and electricity
 (energy services) 124.7 124.1 3.4 -.5
 Electricity 141.9 141.0 1.4 -.6
 Utility (piped) gas 103.0 103.1 8.8 .1
 Other utilities and public
 services 140.4 141.4 3.7 .7
 Household furnishings and operation 117.7 117.8 .6 .1
 Housefurnishings 108.5 108.8 -.4 .3
 Housekeeping supplies 130.0 128.6 -1.1 -1.1
 Housekeeping services 130.9 131.1 3.8 .2
 Apparel and upkeep 126.7 127.7 -0.5 0.8
 Apparel commodities 123.7 124.7 -.8 .8
 Men's and boys' apparel 124.2 124.3 -.7 .1
 Women's and girls' apparel 117.5 120.0 -1.3 2.1
 Infants' and toddlers' apparel 110.1 112.9 1.2 2.5
 Footwear 119.2 120.5 1.5 1.1
 Other apparel commodities 153.0 149.4 -2.0 -2.4
 Apparel services 146.2 146.4 1.5 .1
 Transportation 133.0 132.5 4.7 -.4
 Private transportation 129.9 129.5 4.5 -.3
 New vehicles 132.2 131.9 1.8 -.2
 New cars 130.9 130.6 1.7 -.2
 Used cars 124.9 125.5 8.9 .5
 Motor fuel 105.6 104.5 10.5 -1.0
 Gasoline 105.7 104.5 10.7 -1.1
 Gasoline, leaded regular NA NA - -
 Gasoline, unleaded regular 104.5 103.1 11.1 -1.3
 Gasoline, unleaded premium 106.7 105.4 9.7 -1.2
 Maintenance and repairs 149.0 149.2 4.1 .1
 Other private transportation 158.2 157.5 2.1 -.4
 Other private transportation
 commodities 103.8 103.8 -.5 .0
 Other private transportation
 services 170.5 169.5 2.7 -.6
 Public transportation 169.5 168.4 5.8 -.6
 Medical care 199.9 199.7 6.0 -.1
 Medical care commodities 196.4 196.3 4.7 -.1
 Medical care services 200.8 200.6 6.3 -.1
 Professional medical services 175.9 176.2 4.4 .2
 Entertainment 146.8 146.4 2.4 -.3
 Entertainment commodities 134.9 134.7 .7 -.1
 Entertainment services 160.9 160.4 3.9 -.3
 Other goods and services 195.2 195.5 8.0 .2
 Tobacco and smoking products 253.1 252.3 10.4 -.3
 Personal care 147.2 148.8 3.0 1.1
 Personal and educational expenses 212.1 212.2 8.8 .0
 Special indexes
 Energy 111.7 110.9 7.0 -.7
 All items less energy 149.3 149.4 2.7 .1
 1/ Indexes on a December 1982=100 base.
 2/ Indexes on a December 1986=100 base.
 NA/ Data not adequate for publication.
 - Data not available.
 -0- 4/9/93
 /CONTACT: Sam Hirabayashi, 415-744-7166, or Leon Bornstein, 415-744-7163, both of the Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics/


CO: U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics ST: California IN: FIN SU: ECO

EH -- LA002 -- 4511 04/09/93 09:36 EDT
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