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PHILADELPHIA AREA CONSUMER PRICES UP 0.5 PERCENT DUE TO RISING RENTERS' COSTS AND APPAREL PRICES

 PHILADELPHIA AREA CONSUMER PRICES UP 0.5 PERCENT DUE TO RISING
 RENTERS' COSTS AND APPAREL PRICES
 PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Philadelphia area consumer prices rose 0.5 percent in August following a 0.1 percent decline in July, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced today.
 Alan M. Paisner, the bureau's regional commissioner, noted that nearly four-fifths of the rise was the result of a jump in the housing index. The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 3.3 percent since last August and at an annual rate of 6.5 percent over the last three months. (See table.)
 The housing index was up 0.8 percent in August after falling half a percent in July. Last month's increase was due to a 1.2 percent jump in the shelter component due mainly to increased renters' costs -- which includes rent of dwelling, lodging while out of town, and lodging while at school. The fuel and other utilities component was up just 0.1 percent and the third component, household furnishings and operation, was down 0.5 percent, the second consecutive drop in that index.
 The apparel index surged in August, up 3.7 percent, following seasonal declines in June and July. Though apparel prices dropped 6.6 percent between May and July, this was much less than the 12.5 percent decline posted during the same period in 1991 or the 7.6 percent in 1990.
 Rising college tuition pushed the other goods and services index up 1.0 percent in August, the seventh consecutive monthly increase in the series. Medical care prices were up just 0.1 percent -- the smallest of seven consecutive increases following an unusual decline in January.
 The remaining three major expenditure categories each posted declines over the month. Transportation prices were down 0.5 percent as public transportation prices plunged 5.1 percent, the first decline since a 7.7 percent drop in May which was due to sharp reductions in airfares. Private transportation prices were also down, but by just 0.1 percent. Gasoline prices rose 0.2 percent in August, well below the one-month increases posted in each of the last three months.
 Food and beverage prices were down 0.3 percent since July -- a seasonal decline in meat, poultry, fish and eggs prices accounted for about three-fifths of the decline. Food away from home and alcoholic beverages prices were each down 0.2 percent over the month. Entertainment prices were down 0.3 percent after five months of increase.
 Commodities prices were up 0.2 percent after 2 months of decline. Services prices were 0.6 percent higher since July and accounted for over 80 percent of the overall CPI increase in August -- mainly due to the increases in rent. On an annualized basis, commodities prices dropped 1.6 percent during the last three months while services prices jumped 12.5 percent.
 In August, the CPI-U stood at 148.0 on the 1982-84 equals 100 reference base, which means that a market basket of goods and services that cost $100 in 1982-84 would have cost $148 in August of this year. The local Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers Index (CPI-W) increased 0.3 percent last month and stood at 147.8 on the 1982-84 base.
 In the other four cities priced monthly by the bureau, prices were up 0.6 percent in New York, 0.4 percent in Chicago and San Francisco, and 0.1 percent in Los Angeles.


PERCENT CHANGE IN CPI-U IN PHILADELPHIA (NOT SEASONALLY ADJUSTED)
 Change from preceding Compound Change for
 month to annual rate 12 months
 Expenditure June July Aug. 3 months ended ended
 category 1992 1992 1992 Aug. 1992 Aug. 1992
 All items 1.2 -0.1 0.5 6.5 3.3
 Food & beverages -0.2 0.3 -0.3 -0.9 1.8
 Housing 3.0 -0.5 0.8 13.7 2.8
 Apparel & upkeep -4.6 -2.1 3.7 -12.0 7.1
 Transportation 0.7 0.4 -0.5 2.7 2.7
 Medical care 0.4 1.5 0.1 8.2 7.0
 Entertainment 0.8 0.1 -0.3 1.9 4.7
 Other goods
 & services 0.5 0.2 1.0 6.8 5.2
 Special indexes:
 Energy 9.4 0.5 -0.3 44.2 1.4
 Commodities -0.2 -0.3 0.2 -1.6 2.4
 Services 2.3 0.0 0.6 12.5 3.9
 /delval/
 -0- 9/15/92
 /CONTACT: Maureen Greene (information), 215-596-1157, or Alan Paisner (media), 215-596-1151, both of the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics/ CO: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics ST: Pennsylvania IN: HOU SU: ECO


LJ -- PH005 -- 9503 09/15/92 09:46 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 15, 1992
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