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LOS ANGELES AREA CONSUMER PRICES UNCHANGED IN DECEMBER; CLOSE OUT 1992 3.6 PERCENT HIGHER

 LOS ANGELES, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Prices paid in December for goods and services purchased by consumers in the greater Los Angeles area (Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties) averaged unchanged from their November levels, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. Sam Hirabayashi, the Bureau's regional commissioner, said that lower-cost food and beverages, housing and apparel and upkeep were offset by higher prices noted in other major categories of consumer spending. The All Items, Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers remained at 148.2 (1982-84 equals 100). Local area CPI data are not seasonally adjusted.
 The 1992 calendar year rise in Los Angeles area prices (a comparison of December indexes in two successive years) was 3.6 percent, compared to a 2.8 percent rise reported for calendar year 1991. Over half of the overall rise in 1992 was due to higher housing and transportation costs.
 Housing costs dropped 0.3 percent during the month but were 1.9 percent above December 1991. Shelter costs decreased 0.5 percent with both renters' and homeowners' costs noted below November levels. The index for residential fuels and utilities dipped 0.4 percent over the month, while household furnishings and operation costs rose 0.6 percent.
 Apparel and upkeep costs were down 1.6 percent over the month and 0.6 percent over the year. The drop from November came as the result of lower price tags on both men's and boys' and women's and girls' clothing -- down 2.1 percent and 1.0 percent, respectively. Footwear prices were up 1.3 percent for the month.
 The cost of food and beverages was a slight 0.1 percent lower in December but was 3.0 percent higher than year-ago levels. Grocery items decreased 0.6 percent in cost from November due principally to lower- priced cereals and bakery products, down 1.9 percent, and fruits and vegetables, down 1.6 percent. The cost of eating out was up 0.4 percent in December, while prices for alcoholic beverages advanced 0.6 percent.
 Transportation costs jumped 0.7 percent during the month to a level 6.5 percent above December 1991. The increase was primarily the result of air fares which pushed the public transportation index up 6.5 percent for the month. Lower gasoline prices, down 1.2 percent, helped to keep private transportation costs at their November level.
 Medical care costs rose 0.6 percent during the month and were 7.4 percent higher than in December 1991. Entertainment costs were also 0.6 percent higher but were only 1.4 percent above year-ago levels. The miscellaneous other goods and services index increased 0.4 percent in December and was up 9.7 percent for the year.
 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 Dec. 1992
 from:
 Nov. Dec. Dec. Nov.
 1992 1992 1991 1992
 Expenditure category
 All items 148.2 148.2 3.6 0.0
 All items (1967 equals 100) 437.8 437.7 -- --
 Food and beverages 142.3 142.2 3.0 -.1
 Food 140.3 140.0 2.8 -.2
 Food at home 142.5 141.7 3.5 -.6
 Cereals and bakery products 157.4 154.4 2.7 -1.9
 Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs 136.4 136.4 4.0 .0
 Meats, poultry, and fish 134.0 133.6 4.4 -.3
 Dairy products 141.2 142.6 5.9 1.0
 Fruits and vegetables 159.1 156.6 4.0 -1.6
 Other food at home 131.9 131.3 1.7 -.5
 Food away from home 137.5 138.1 1.7 .4
 Alcoholic beverages 161.9 162.9 5.0 .6
 Housing 149.4 148.9 1.9 -.3
 Shelter 159.7 158.9 1.5 -.5
 Renters' costs A/ 167.1 166.5 .6 -.4
 Rent, residential 156.7 156.6 1.0 -.1
 Other renters' costs 182.6 179.4 -1.0 -1.8
 Homeowners' costs A/ 169.4 168.6 1.9 -.5
 Owners' equivalent rent A/ 169.5 168.6 1.9 -.5
 Fuel and other utilities 137.3 136.8 2.2 -.4
 Fuels 136.1 136.3 .4 .1
 Fuel oil and other household
 fuel commodities 126.7 129.1 -5.9 1.9
 Fuel oil NA NA -- --
 Other household fuel
 commodities B/ 127.0 129.4 -5.9 1.9
 Gas (piped) and electricity 136.2 136.4 .4 .1
 Electricity 158.5 158.8 3.9 .2
 Utility (piped) gas 110.8 110.8 -7.5 .0
 Household furnishings and operation 120.7 121.4 3.9 .6
 Apparel and upkeep 131.6 129.5 -.6 -1.6
 Apparel commodities 128.3 126.0 -.9 -1.8
 Men's and boys' apparel 137.7 134.8 3.2 -2.1
 Women's and girls' apparel 117.0 115.8 -7.0 -1.0
 Footwear 111.0 112.4 4.8 1.3
 Transportation 136.1 137.0 6.5 0.7
 Private transportation 133.4 133.4 6.5 .0
 Motor fuel 113.2 112.2 17.6 -.9
 Gasoline 113.8 112.4 18.7 -1.2
 Gasoline, leaded regular NA NA -- --
 Gasoline, unleaded regular 112.5 110.9 18.6 -1.4
 Gasoline, unleaded premium 115.0 114.1 19.2 -.8
 Public transportation 176.1 187.5 6.9 6.5
 Medical care 196.7 197.9 7.4 .6
 Entertainment 134.3 135.1 1.4 .6
 Other goods and services 205.6 206.4 9.7 .4
 Personal care 157.7 155.5 5.1 -1.4
 Special indexes
 All items less energy 151.6 151.6 3.1 .0
 Energy 120.2 119.6 9.5 -.5
 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- 1/15/93
 /CONTACT: Faith Heinemann, 213-252-7656, or Jim Wurth, 213-252-7517, both of the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics/


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

TM -- SF007 -- 5274 01/15/93 10:14 EST
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