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GROCERY PRICES ARE HIGHER WHILE ENERGY PRICES CONTINUE TO FALL

 PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Grocery prices in the Pittsburgh-Beaver Valley area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), rose 2.8 percent in January, following a 0.8 percent increase the previous month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
 Alan M. Paisner, the bureau's regional commissioner, noted that seasonally higher produce prices were mainly responsible for the overall advance. Since January 1992, the food at home index for Allegheny, Beaver, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties rose 5.9 percent.
 Prices for fruits and vegetables were up 9.7 percent in January, the largest 1-month increase since January 1990. Higher prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs -- up 3.3 percent, the largest 1-month increase since September 1991, also contributed to the overall increase in grocery prices.
 Lower prices for cereals and bakery products -- down 3.6 percent -- helped moderate the overall increase in grocery prices. Prices for other food at home -- which includes sugar and sweets, fats and oils, nonalcoholic beverages, canned and packaged soups, frozen food, and snacks -- were also up over the month, increasing 0.7 percent.
 The Pittsburgh-Beaver Valley food at home index stood at 133.7 on the 1982-84 base, which means that grocery shoppers in the Pittsburgh-Beaver Valley area would have had to spend $133.70 last month for a market basket of food items that cost $100.00 in 1982-84.
 Energy prices were down for the sixth month in a row -- prices were 3.0 percent lower in January than they had been in July and 1.3 percent lower than last January. Nearly all of January's 1.3 percent decline was due to a 3.1 percent drop in motor fuel prices. Gasoline prices have fallen for 5 consecutive months -- down 5.9 percent since August 1992. Lower prices for fuel oil -- down 2.6 percent, the third consecutive monthly reduction -- also contributed to lower energy prices.
 CPI-U: Pittsburgh-Beaver Valley area, January 1993,
 not seasonally adjusted
 (1982-84 equals 100)
 Index Percent
 GROUP Jan. change to Jan.
 1993 1993 from
 Dec. Jan.
 1992 1992
 Food at home 133.7 2.8 5.9
 Cereals and bakery products 138.5 -3.6 1.6
 Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs 130.9 3.3 6.7
 Meats, poultry and fish 132.8 3.7 6.8
 Dairy products 129.7 3.6 7.9
 Fruits and vegetables 148.9 9.7 12.4
 Other foods at home 126.1 0.7 1.5
 Energy 111.1 -1.3 -1.3
 Fuels 124.1 0.0 -3.2
 Fuel oil 83.4 -2.6 2.2
 Gas (piped) and electricity 125.5 0.0 -3.2
 Electricity 143.5 0.0 -2.0
 Utility (piped) gas 111.2 0.0 -4.2
 Motor fuel 94.0 -3.1 1.3
 Gasoline 93.9 -3.2 1.2
 Gasoline, unleaded regular 90.3 -3.2 1.2
 Gasoline, unleaded premium 96.3 -2.7 1.8
 -0- 2/18/93
 /CONTACT: Gerald Perrins, information, 215-596-1154; or Maureen Greene, media, 215-596-1157, both of U.S. Labor Department/


CO: U.S. Labor Department, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU: ECO

CD -- PG002 -- 7724 02/18/93 09:11 EST
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Date:Feb 18, 1993
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