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PHILADELPHIA PRICES EDGED UP 0.1 PERCENT IN SEPTEMBER

 PHILADELPHIA PRICES EDGED UP 0.1 PERCENT IN SEPTEMBER
 PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Philadelphia area consumer prices rose 0.1 percent in September following a 0.5 percent rise the month before, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced today.
 Alan M. Paisner, the bureau's regional commissioner, noted that higher prices in five of the large expenditure categories were all but offset by declines in housing and apparel. The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 3.0 percent since last September and at an annual rate of 1.6 percent over the last three months (see table).
 The other goods and services category jumped 1.2 percent between August and September, the largest one-month increase in just over a year. This miscellaneous category -- which includes tobacco and smoking products, personal care goods and services, tuition and school books and supplies, and consumer professional services -- increased over the last quarter at a higher annualized rate than any of the other main categories and was second only to medical care over the year. Increases in personal care goods and educational expenses paced the most recent increase.
 In September a sharp increase in food away from home combined with somewhat higher grocery prices to account for a 0.4 percent increase in the food and beverage category, the largest one-month increase since April. Food away from home rose 0.8 percent since August, the largest one-month increase in over two years.
 Despite that increase, food away from home prices were just 1.4 percent higher than a year ago as five of the last 12 months had no price change or declines.
 Transportation prices were 0.1 percent higher in September, as falling prices for private transportation were met by a sharp 3.9 percent increase in public transportation prices in the form of higher airline fares. A 0.7 percent decline in gasoline prices helped keep the private transportation index 0.2 percent lower than a month before. Lower prices at the pump helped keep the overall energy index unchanged over the month. The energy index was 0.7 percent lower over the year.
 The housing index declined for the second time in the last three months. The pattern of decline, increase, decline left the housing index exactly where it was in June and 2.6 percent higher than a year ago. Most of the 0.3 percent drop in the housing index was due to declines in shelter, particularly homeowners' costs. Fuel and other utilities prices were up mainly due to a 2.1 percent increase in fuel oil prices -- the largest one-month increase in fuel oil since last November. Fuel oil prices were 5.2 percent higher than a year ago.
 Apparel and upkeep prices also dropped in September. There was an unusual 1.2 percent decline in men's and boys' apparel prices since August and women's and girls apparel was up only 7.1 percent compared with increases of 11.6 and 12.3 percent during the same period in the prior two years. Sharp declines in jewelry prices also kept the index lower.
 In the other four cities priced monthly by the Bureau, prices rose 0.3 percent in Los Angeles, 0.4 percent in New York, 0.6 percent in Chicago, and 0.7 percent in San Francisco.
 In September, the CPI-U stood at 148.1 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 $148.10 last month.


PERCENT CHANGE IN CPI-U, PHILADELPHIA (NOT SEASONALLY ADJUSTED)
 Change from preceding Compound Change for
 month to annual rate 12 months
 Expenditure July Aug. Sept. 3 months ended ended
 category 1992 1992 1992 Sept. 1992 Sept. 1992
 All items -0.1 0.5 0.1 1.6 3.0
 Food & beverages 0.3 -0.3 0.4 1.8 2.4
 Housing -0.5 0.8 -0.3 0.0 2.6
 Apparel & upkeep -2.1 3.7 -0.4 4.6 -0.6
 Transportation 0.4 -0.5 0.1 0.3 2.7
 Medical care 1.5 0.1 0.5 8.4 7.3
 Entertainment 0.1 -0.3 0.5 0.8 4.5
 Other goods
 & services 0.2 1.0 1.2 9.8 6.0
 Special indexes:
 Energy 0.5 -0.3 0.0 0.7 -0.7
 Commodities -0.3 0.2 0.1 -0.3 1.6
 Services 0.0 0.6 0.1 2.8 3.9
 /delval/
 -0- 10/15/92
 /CONTACT: Michelle Weihmann (information), 215-596-1154, or Maureen Greene (media), 215-596-1157, 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 -- PH006 -- 0280 10/15/92 09:47 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 15, 1992
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