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NO CHANGE IN CONSUMER PRICES FOR THE WESTERN REGION IN OCTOBER 1991

     NO CHANGE IN CONSUMER PRICES FOR THE WESTERN REGION
                     IN OCTOBER 1991
    SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The Consumer Price Index posted no change in October.  Prices paid by consumers in the thirteen westernmost states remained at the level attained in September, according to Sam Hirabayashi, regional commissioner of the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.  A decline in the housing index counterbalanced modest increases in all other major expenditure categories except the transportation group, which posted no gain.
    The All Items Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for the West remained at 138.6 (1982-84-100).  For the year, the index advanced 3.2 percent--the smallest 12-month increase since February 1987 when prices rose 2.6 percent from the previous February.  Since the beginning of this year, West Region prices have risen 2.7 percent, less than half the increase of the same 10-month period in 1990 when the index rose 5.9 percent.  Consumer Price Index data for the region are not seasonally adjusted.
    The overall housing index dropped 0.1 percent in October as a 0.3 percent increase in the fuel and other utilities category did little to ameliorate declines in shelter and in household furnishings and operation, which fell 0.2 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.  The decrease in shelter costs was due almost entirely to a 2.7 percent drop in other renters' costs, while a 1.1 percent fall in housefurnishings prices was responsible for lowering the household furnishings and operation index.  Over the year, other renters' costs have advanced 14.9 percent, housefurnishings prices have declined 2.2 percent, while the overall housing index has gained 3.7 percent.
    Food and beverages prices rose a modest 0.2 percent during the month and was 2.9 percent above a year ago.  Nonalcoholic beverages, which jumped 3.2 percent, was largely responsible for the higher grocery bills in October (up 0.4 percent).  The cost of nonalcoholic drinks, however, were 0.2 percent below last year's prices.  Most of the food at home items posted gains in October, except dairy products which fell 0.6 percent, and fruits and vegetables and other prepared food, both of which edged down 0.1 percent.  The cost of eating out averaged unchanged for the month but prices of alcoholic beverages were up 0.5 percent.
    Apparel and upkeep prices edged up 0.2 percent as a 2.0 increase in footwear and a 3.9 percent jump in other apparel commodities offset a 5.8 percent drop in infants' and toddlers' apparel and a 1.3 percent decline in women's and girls' apparel.  Over the year, the largest change in the apparel group was in the other apparel commodities, up 10.8 percent, and the smallest was a 0.5 percent drop in infants' and toddlers' apparel.
    Overall transportation costs were unchanged in October but were 2.0 percent lower than October 1990.  Private transportation costs also showed no change for the month as a 1.7 percent drop in gasoline prices were offset by price increases in new vehicles, maintenance and repairs, and the other private transportation category.  Over the year, private transportation costs have declined 2.1 percent largely due to considerably lower gasoline prices, down 18.1 percent from last October.
    Medical care rose 0.4 percent during the month and was 8.0 percent above the year-ago level.  Virtually all the advance in the medical care index was due to increases in the medical care services component, up 0.4 percent.  Entertainment costs advanced 0.5 percent as a drop in entertainment commodities, down 0.3 percent, only partially offset a 1.2 percent jump in the entertainment services. Over the year, the entertainment expenditure category has risen 6.0 percent.  The miscellaneous other goods and services index edged up 0.2 percent in October posting a 8.6 percent gain for the year.
             Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers:
            Indexes and percent changes for selected periods
               West (1982-84-100, unless otherwise noted)
                                                      Percent changes
                                             Indexes     to Oct. 1991
                                                             from:
                                          Sept.    Oct.   Oct.  Sept.
                                           1991    1991   1990   1991
          Expenditure category
    All items ..........................  138.6   138.6    3.2    0.0
      Food and beverages ...............  136.7   137.0    2.9     .2
        Food ...........................  135.4   135.7    1.9     .2
          Food at home .................  134.8   135.3    1.2     .4
          Food away from home ..........  136.8   136.8    2.9     .0
        Alcoholic beverages ............  148.3   149.1   12.1     .5
      Housing ..........................  138.4   138.2    3.7    -.1
        Shelter ........................  148.9   148.6    4.1    -.2
        Fuel and other utilities .......  123.6   124.0    4.9     .3
        Household furnishings and
         operation .....................  116.2   115.5     .3    -.6
      Apparel and upkeep ...............  126.5   126.8    3.7    0.2
      Transportation ...................  124.9   124.9   -2.0     .0
        Private transportation .........  122.7   122.7   -2.1     .0
          Motor fuel ...................   97.3    95.8  -17.8   -1.5
        Public transportation ..........  153.1   151.6   -2.8   -1.0
      Medical care .....................  181.4   182.1    8.0     .4
      Entertainment ....................  143.0   143.7    6.0     .5
      Other goods and services .........  176.0   176.4    8.6     .2
        Personal care ..................  140.9   141.8    4.5     .6
                     Special indexes
    Energy .............................  107.2   106.4   -8.2    -.7
    All items less energy ..............  142.4   142.5    4.0     .1
    -0-                  11/14/91
    /CONTACT:  Sam Hirabayashi, 415-744-7166; or Joyce Sakai, 415-744-7163, both of the U.S. Dept. of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics/ CO:  U.S. Dept. of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics ST:  California IN:  FIN SU:  ECO JL -- SF004 -- 4352 11/14/91 10:50 EST
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Date:Nov 14, 1991
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