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LOS ANGELES AREA CONSUMER PRICES DOWN 0.1 PERCENT IN MARCH

 LOS ANGELES, April 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Prices paid for goods and services purchased in the greater Los Angeles area (Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties) dropped a slight 0.1 percent in March, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. Sam Hirabayashi, the Bureau's regional commissioner, said lower shelter costs were largely responsible for the decline. The decrease brought the All Items, Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers to 149.8 (1982-84=100), 3.0 percent above the March 1992 level. Since the first of the year, Los Angeles area prices have risen 1.1 percent, compared to a 1.7 percent increase recorded for the first three months of 1992. Local area data are not seasonally adjusted.
 Housing costs dropped 0.5 percent during the month to a level 1.4 percent above a year ago. Shelter costs were down 0.5 percent with both renter's and homeowners' costs reported lower -- 0.8 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively. Household furnishings and operation costs fell 1.4 percent, while the fuels and utilities index rose 0.5 percent.
 Transportation costs edged down 0.1 percent in March, but were 5.8 percent higher than year-ago levels. Private transportation costs fell 0.5 percent from February reflecting lower gasoline prices and declining automobile finance charges. Public transportation costs were up 2.3 percent during the month in response to higher air fares.
 Medical care costs decreased 0.2 percent from February levels, but were 7.0 percent higher than in March 1992. Entertainment costs edged up 0.1 percent during the month and were 1.2 percent above last year. The miscellaneous other goods and services index averaged unchanged for the month, but was up 10.2 percent for the year.
 The cost of food and beverages rose 0.3 percent in March to a level 2.0 percent above a year ago. Grocery prices were up 1.0 percent during the month due primarily to a 2.6 percent rise in the cost of meats, poultry, fish and eggs. The cost of eating out averaged unchanged from February, while alcoholic beverages were priced 1.3 percent lower.
 Apparel and upkeep costs were up 0.7 percent for the month, but were 0.9 percent lower than in March 1992. Higher price tags on women's and girls' clothing, up 2.1 percent, more than offset lower- cost footwear, down 0.6 percent, and men's and boys' apparel, down 1.4 percent.
 Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers: Indexes and percent changes for selected periods
 (Data are not seasonally adjusted)
 Los Angeles-Anaheim-Riverside, CA (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 150.0 149.8 3.0 -0.1
 All items (1967=100) 443.3 442.7 - -
 Food and beverages 143.4 143.9 2.0 .3
 Food 141.3 142.1 2.1 .6
 Food at home 143.5 144.9 2.4 1.0
 Cereals and bakery products 158.4 159.7 4.5 .8
 Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs 135.9 139.5 5.1 2.6
 Meats, poultry, and fish 134.2 136.7 5.3 1.9
 Dairy products 141.5 141.8 2.7 .2
 Fruits and vegetables 163.6 163.4 -.2 -.1
 Other food at home 132.7 133.3 .2 .5
 Food away from home 138.4 138.4 1.5 .0
 Alcoholic beverages 163.6 161.5 1.3 -1.3
 Housing 150.8 150.0 1.4 -.5
 Shelter 161.3 160.5 1.5 -.5
 Renters' costs 1/ 171.2 169.8 .4 -.8
 Rent, residential 156.7 155.6 .3 -.7
 Other renters' costs 205.3 203.3 .7 -1.0
 Homeowners' costs 1/ 170.1 169.5 2.0 -.4
 Owners' equivalent rent 1/ 170.2 169.6 2.0 -.4
 Fuel and other utilities 138.4 139.1 2.9 .5
 Fuels 138.5 138.5 2.7 .0
 Fuel oil and other household
 fuel commodities 128.7 128.1 4.1 -.5
 Fuel oil NA NA - -
 Other household fuel
 commodities 2/ 129.0 128.4 4.2 -.5
 Gas (piped) and electricity 138.7 138.6 2.6 -.1
 Electricity 158.0 157.9 .6 -.1
 Utility (piped) gas 118.9 118.9 7.5 .0
 Household furnishings and operation 121.4 119.7 .1 -1.4
 Apparel and upkeep 134.7 135.7 -.9 .7
 Apparel commodities 131.8 132.9 -1.1 .8
 Men's and boys' apparel 134.4 132.5 -4.4 -1.4
 Women's and girls' apparel 126.9 129.6 -2.3 2.1
 Footwear 114.8 114.1 5.2 -.6
 Transportation 137.9 137.7 5.8 -0.1
 Private transportation 133.9 133.2 5.0 -.5
 Motor fuel 111.8 111.0 13.7 -.7
 Gasoline 112.6 111.2 14.2 -1.2
 Gasoline, leaded regular NA NA - -
 Gasoline, unleaded regular 111.1 109.6 14.9 -1.4
 Gasoline, unleaded premium 114.2 113.2 13.1 -.9
 Public transportation 192.4 196.8 12.2 2.3
 Medical care 202.3 201.9 7.0 -.2
 Entertainment 135.5 135.7 1.2 .1
 Other goods and services 209.7 209.7 10.2 .0
 Personal care 156.9 157.1 4.2 .1
 Special indexes
 All items less energy 153.6 153.4 2.7 -.1
 Energy 120.3 119.7 8.6 -.5
 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: Faith Heinemann, 213-252-7656, or Jim Wurth, 213-252-7517, both of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics/


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

EH -- LA003 -- 4512 04/09/93 09:43 EDT
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