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LOS ANGELES AREA CONSUMER PRICES EDGED UP 0.1 PERCENT IN AUGUST

 LOS ANGELES AREA CONSUMER PRICES EDGED UP 0.1 PERCENT IN AUGUST
 LOS ANGELES, Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Prices paid for goods and services purchased in the greater Los Angeles area (Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Riverside counties) edged up 0.1 percent in August, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. Sam Hirabayashi, the bureau's regional commissioner, said that lower transportation and entertainment costs were more than offset by higher prices reported in other major categories of consumer spending, particularly housing and food and beverages. The All Items, Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers now stands at 146.9 (1982-84 equals 100), 3.7 percent above the August 1991 level. Since the first of the year, Los Angeles area prices have risen 2.7 percent, compared to a 1.8-percent increase noted during the first eight months of 1991. Local area CPI data are not seasonally adjusted.
 Housing costs increased 0.2 percent from July levels and were 2.5 percent higher than in August 1991. Shelter costs were up 0.5 percent for the month with both homeowners' and renters' costs reported higher--up 0.7 percent and 0.2 percent respectively. The fuels and utilities sub-index rose 0.2 percent during the month with higher water and sewage maintenance fees contributing to the advance. Lower prices for housekeeping supplies and furniture and bedding led to a 1.1-percent drop in household furnishings and operation costs for the month.
 The food and beverages index increased 0.6 percent in August to a level 3.8 percent above a year ago. Grocery prices advanced 1.4 percent from July levels due primarily to a 4.8-percent jump in fruit and vegetable prices. Also priced higher were: Meats, poultry and fish, up 1.0 percent; cereals and bakery products, up 0.9 percent; and miscellaneous food items, up 0.8 percent. The cost of eating away from home averaged unchanged from the prior month. Lower prices for beer and ale purchased for home consumption led to a 0.9 percent drop in the cost of alcoholic beverages.
 Apparel and upkeep prices were up 0.9 percent in August and were 1.4 percent above year-ago levels. Lower price tags on men's and boys' clothing--down 1.4 percent--only partially offset higher prices reported for footwear--up 4.2 percent--and women's and girls' apparel--up 3.2 percent.
 Medical care costs edged up 0.2 percent for the month and were 7.8 percent higher for the year. The miscellaneous other goods and services index was unchanged from July, although prices for personal care items were noted 2.5 percent higher. Entertainment costs were down 0.2 percent in August and were 4.0 percent lower than a year ago.
 Transportation costs were down 0.6 percent during the month but were 5.9 percent higher than in August 1991. The over-the-month decline was due almost entirely to a 7.1-percent plunge in public transportation costs brought on by lower air fares. Gasoline prices were also lower in August, down 0.6 percent, but were 20.3 percent above year-ago levels. It was the first one-month decline in gasoline prices recorded since November 1991.
 Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers: Indexes and percent
 changes for selected periods
 Los Angeles-Anaheim-Riverside, Calif. (1982-84 equals 100, unless
 otherwise noted)
 Percent changes
 Indexes to Aug. 1992
 from:
 July Aug. Aug. July
 1992 1992 1991 1992
 Expenditure category
 All items 146.7 146.9 3.7 0.1
 All items (1967 equals 100) 433.3 434.1 - -
 Food and beverages 140.1 141.0 3.8 0.6
 Food 137.8 139.0 3.9 0.9
 Food at home 138.7 140.7 5.1 1.4
 Cereals and bakery products 155.9 157.3 5.6 0.9
 Meats, poultry, fish and eggs 132.5 133.5 1.6 0.8
 Meats, poultry and fish 130.4 131.7 2.1 1.0
 Dairy products 142.4 142.2 6.8 -0.1
 Fruits and vegetables 145.2 152.1 10.3 4.8
 Other food at home 131.7 132.8 4.0 0.8
 Food away from home 137.0 137.0 2.1 0.0
 Alcoholic beverages 161.5 160.0 3.6 -0.9
 Housing 149.0 149.3 2.5 0.2
 Shelter 158.5 159.3 2.8 0.5
 Renters' costs A/ 167.9 168.2 1.1 0.2
 Rent, residential 155.8 155.7 1.5 -0.1
 Other renters' costs 191.3 193.2 -0.2 1.0
 Homeowners' costs A/ 167.2 168.4 3.6 0.7
 Owners' equivalent rent A/ 167.2 168.4 3.6 0.7
 Fuel and other utilities 138.4 138.7 1.6 0.2
 Fuels 139.1 139.1 -2.3 0.0
 Fuel oil and other household
 fuel commodities 122.9 120.9 -13.6 -1.6
 Fuel oil NA NA - -
 Other household fuel
 commodities B/ 123.1 121.1 -13.7 -1.6
 Gas (piped) and electricity 139.3 139.4 -2.2 0.1
 Electricity 157.2 157.3 3.9 0.1
 Utility (piped) gas 122.2 122.2 -13.9 0.0
 Household furnishings and operation 122.2 120.8 1.9 -1.1
 Apparel and upkeep 130.8 132.0 1.4 0.9
 Apparel commodities 127.5 128.8 1.1 1.0
 Men's and boys' apparel 137.9 136.0 6.1 -1.4
 Women's and girls' apparel 117.2 121.0 -0.3 3.2
 Footwear 108.3 112.9 7.8 4.2
 Transportation 134.6 133.8 5.9 -0.6
 Private transportation 131.3 131.7 6.6 0.3
 Motor fuel 111.7 111.1 19.1 -0.5
 Gasoline 112.2 111.5 20.3 -0.6
 Gasoline, leaded regular NA NA - -
 Gasoline, unleaded regular 111.1 110.3 20.3 -0.7
 Gasoline, unleaded premium 112.9 112.5 18.4 -0.4
 Public transportation 181.1 168.2 -0.2 -7.1
 Medical care 193.5 193.9 7.8 0.2
 Entertainment 133.5 133.2 -4.0 -0.2
 Other goods and services 195.8 195.8 9.4 0.0
 Personal care 155.2 159.1 7.0 2.5
 Special indexes
 All items less energy 149.9 150.2 3.4 0.2
 Energy 120.4 120.1 8.7 -0.2
 A/ Indexes on a December 1982 equals 100 base.
 B/ Indexes on a December 1986 equals 100 base.
 NA/ Data not adequate for publication.
 - Data not available.
 -0- 9/15/92
 /CONTACT: Faith Heinemann, 213-252-7518, or Jim Wurth, 213-252-7517, both of the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics/ CO: U.S. Department of Labor ST: California IN: FIN SU: ECO


SC -- SF005 -- 9576 09/15/92 11:14 EDT
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Date:Sep 15, 1992
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