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LOS ANGELES AREA CONSUMER PRICES EDGED UP 0.1 PERCENT IN AUGUST

 LOS ANGELES, Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Prices paid for goods and services purchased by consumers in the greater Los Angeles area (Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura Counties) rose a slight 0.1 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. Sam Hirabayashi, the bureau's regional commissioner, said the increase was due almost entirely to a sharp increase in the seasonally volatile apparel and upkeep sub-component of the index. The rise brought the All Items, Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers to 149.9 (1982-84 equals 100), 2.0 percent above the August 1992 level. This latest increase was the smallest 12-month gain in 10 years. Since the first of the year, prices in the Los Angeles area have increased 1.1 percent, considerably less than the 2.7 percent rise recorded during the first eight months of 1993. (Local area price indexes are not seasonally adjusted.)
 After four consecutive months of price declines, apparel and upkeep costs climbed 2.6 percent from their July levels. The increase came largely as a result of a 7.1 percent jump in the cost of women's and girls' clothing. Prices paid for footwear averaged 5.5 percent higher during the month, while price tags on men's and boys' apparel dropped 2.7 percent. Compared with August 1992 levels, however, apparel and upkeep costs were down 1.0 percent.
 The cost of food and beverages averaged unchanged during August, but was 2.3 percent above last year. A 0.3 percent rise in grocery prices was offset by a 1.4 percent drop in the cost of alcoholic beverages and a 0.1 percent decline in the cost of eating away from home.
 Housing costs also remained at their July levels and were just 0.9 percent higher than a year ago. Slightly higher residential fuel and utilities costs -- up 0.1 percent in August -- and household furnishings and operation costs -- up 0.4 percent -- were balanced by a 0.1 percent drop in the shelter index.
 Transportation costs dropped 0.7 percent during the month, but were 1.6 percent above the August 1992 level. The decrease from July was chiefly the result of lower gasoline prices -- down 2.4 percent -- and a 3.1 percent drop in the public transportation index. Over the year, private transportation costs edged down 0.3 percent while public transportation costs, which include air fares, soared 17.1 percent.
 Medical care costs rose 0.2 percent during the month and 7.2 percent over the year. Entertainment costs were up 0.8 percent during August and were 1.4 percent above last year. The miscellaneous other goods and services index decreased 0.7 percent from July, but was 7.7 percent higher than a year ago.
 Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers:
 Indexes and percent changes for selected periods
 (Data are not seasonally adjusted)
 Los Angeles-Anaheim-Riverside, Calif.
 (1982-84 equals 100, unless otherwise noted)
 Percent changes
 Indexes to Aug. 1993
 from:
 July Aug. Aug. July
 1993 1993 1992 1993
 Expenditure category
 All items 149.8 149.9 2.0 0.1
 All items (1967 equals 100) 442.6 442.8 -- --
 Food and beverages 144.3 144.3 2.3 .0
 Food 142.0 142.3 2.4 .2
 Food at home 143.9 144.4 2.6 .3
 Cereals and bakery products 162.6 160.8 2.2 -1.1
 Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs 142.1 143.4 7.4 .9
 Meats, poultry, and fish 140.3 141.4 7.4 .8
 Dairy products 144.4 144.8 1.8 .3
 Fruits and vegetables 149.4 152.3 .1 1.9
 Other food at home 133.3 132.3 -.4 -.8
 Food away from home 139.7 139.6 1.9 -.1
 Alcoholic beverages 165.8 163.5 2.2 -1.4
 Housing 150.7 150.7 .9 .0
 Shelter 160.4 160.2 .6 -.1
 Renters' costs A/ 168.7 169.0 .5 .2
 Rent, residential 156.1 156.2 .3 .1
 Other renters' costs 194.5 195.7 1.3 .6
 Homeowners' costs A/ 169.8 169.5 .7 -.2
 Owners' equivalent rent A/ 169.9 169.5 .7 -.2
 Fuel and other utilities 141.9 142.1 2.5 .1
 Fuels 145.2 145.2 4.4 .0
 Fuel oil and other household
 fuel commodities 123.7 123.3 2.0 -.3
 Fuel oil NA NA -- --
 Other household fuel
 commodities B/ 123.9 123.5 2.0 -.3
 Gas (piped) and electricity 145.5 145.5 4.4 .0
 Electricity 158.9 158.9 1.0 .0
 Utility (piped) gas 137.4 137.3 12.4 -.1
 Household furnishings and operation 122.0 122.5 1.4 .4
 Apparel and upkeep 127.4 130.7 -1.0 2.6
 Apparel commodities 123.6 127.3 -1.2 3.0
 Men's and boys' apparel 127.8 124.3 -8.6 -2.7
 Women's and girls' apparel 114.0 122.1 .9 7.1
 Footwear 107.6 113.5 .5 5.5
 Transportation 136.9 135.9 1.6 -0.7
 Private transportation 131.8 131.3 -.3 -.4
 Motor fuel 105.9 103.5 -6.8 -2.3
 Gasoline 105.8 103.3 -7.4 -2.4
 Gasoline, leaded regular NA NA -- --
 Gasoline, unleaded regular 103.4 100.3 -9.1 -3.0
 Gasoline, unleaded premium 109.3 107.4 -4.5 -1.7
 Public transportation 203.2 196.9 17.1 -3.1
 Medical care 207.3 207.8 7.2 .2
 Entertainment 133.9 135.0 1.4 .8
 Other goods and services 212.4 210.9 7.7 -.7
 Personal care 158.5 158.6 -.3 .1
 Special indexes
 All items less energy 153.4 153.6 2.3 .1
 Energy 119.2 117.7 -2.0 -1.3
 1/ Indexes on a December 1982 equals 100 base.
 2/ Indexes on a December 1986 equals 100 base.
 NA/ Data not adequate for publication.
 -- Data not available.
 -0- 9/14/93
 /CONTACT: Jim Wurth, 213-252-7656, or Joyce Sakai, 415-744-7133, both of the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics/


CO: U.S. Department of Labor ST: California IN: HOU EXE SU: ECO

TM -- SF003 -- 1647 09/14/93 09:44 EDT
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Date:Sep 14, 1993
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