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GROCERY PRICES UP DUE TO SHARP RISE AT BUTCHER COUNTER; LOWER MOTOR FUEL PRICES CAUSE ENERGY INDEX TO FALL

 GROCERY PRICES UP DUE TO SHARP RISE AT BUTCHER COUNTER;
 LOWER MOTOR FUEL PRICES CAUSE ENERGY INDEX TO FALL
 BALTIMORE, May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Grocery prices in the Baltimore area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), rose 0.4 percent in April, following a 0.6 percent decrease the previous month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
 Alan M. Paisner, the Bureau's regional commissioner, noted that higher prices for meats, poultry, fish and eggs contributed most to the overall advance in grocery prices. Since April 1991, the food at home index for Baltimore City and the counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, Howard, and Queen Annes rose 1.4 percent. (See table 1.)
 Prices at the butcher counter increased 3.5 percent in April, the largest 1-month increase since June 1990. Cereals and bakery products were also priced higher over the month, up 1.2 percent. A 4.4 percent decline in produce prices in April moderated the overall increase in grocery prices.
 The Baltimore food at home index stood at 140.4 on the 1982-84 base, which means that grocery shoppers in the Baltimore area would have had to spend $14.04 last month for a market basket of food items that cost $10.00 in 1982-84.
 The energy index fell 0.9 percent in April and was unchanged over the year. Less expensive motor fuel contributed most to the decline in the energy index. Prices for motor fuel were virtually unchanged over the year. Natural gas prices fell 1.9 percent since March and home heating oil prices displayed a normal seasonal drop in April, down 0.5 percent.
 Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers:
 Baltimore area, April 1992, not seasonally adjusted.
 (1982-84-100, unless otherwise noted)
 Index Percent
 GROUP Apr. change to Apr.
 1992 1992 from
 Mar. Apr.
 1992 1991
 Food at home....................... 140.4 0.4 1.4
 Cereals and bakery products...... 165.7 1.2 3.8
 Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs... 129.3 3.5 -0.8
 Meats, poultry and fish......... 132.2 3.6 -0.1
 Dairy products................... 135.8 -0.3 2.6
 Fruits and vegetables............ 157.0 -4.4 0.8
 Other foods at home.............. 134.6 0.0 2.6
 Energy............................. 97.6 -0.9 0.0
 Fuels.............................. 98.8 -0.5 -0.1
 Fuel oil......................... 86.6 -1.1 -7.9
 Gas (piped) and electricity...... 112.4 -0.4 1.5
 Electricity..................... 123.4 0.0 3.5
 Utility (piped) gas............. 88.2 -1.9 -4.3
 Motor fuel......................... 97.3 -1.2 0.1
 Gasoline......................... 95.7 -1.4 0.2
 Gasoline, unleaded regular...... 92.9 -1.9 -0.1
 Gasoline, unleaded premium...... 98.7 -0.8 0.7
 -0- 5/13/92
 /CONTACT: Michelle Weihmann (information), 215-596-1154, or Maureen Greene (media), 215-596-1157, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics/ CO: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics ST: Maryland IN: HOU SU: ECO


MK -- PH006 -- 9498 05/13/92 09:00 EDT
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Date:May 13, 1992
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