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SEATTLE PRICES ROSE 1.7 PERCENT IN SECOND HALF OF 1991 -- UP 4.5 PERCENT FOR THE YEAR

 SEATTLE PRICES ROSE 1.7 PERCENT IN SECOND
 HALF OF 1991 -- UP 4.5 PERCENT FOR THE YEAR
 SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Prices paid by consumers for goods and services in the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area advanced 1.7 percent in the second half of 1991, according to Sam Hirabayashi, Regional Commissioner of the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. The latest rise in area prices was lower than the 2.8 percent increase in the first half of 1991 and the 4.2 percent rise in the second half of 1990. Consumer price index data for local areas are not seasonally adjusted.
 The area's semiannual All Items Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers reached 135.2 (1982-84-100) for the second half of 1991, 4.5 percent above the level for the second half of 1990. This was the smallest over-the-year increase in the Seattle area since the 4.3 percent increase for the year ending the first half of 1989. Area prices had increased 8.2 percent from the second half of 1989 to the second half of 1990.
 Prices in the area, which covers King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties, rose for all major expenditure categories except for food and beverages, which declined 0.6 percent. About two-thirds of the overall increase in prices resulted from the housing category.
 Housing costs rose 2.6 percent in the second half of 1991 as the shelter component advanced 3.2 percent, the fuels and other utilities index edged up 0.5 percent, and the cost of household furnishings and operation rose 1.7 percent. Within shelter, renters' costs rose 3.6 percent and homeowners' costs increased 3.0 percent. The shelter component accounted for nearly 60 percent of the in the All Items Index for the Seattle area. Excluding shelter, local prices rose 1.1 percent in the latest six month period. When compared to the second half of 1990, the local cost of shelter rose 6.7 percent, the fuels and other utilities index increased 1.0 percent, and the cost of household furnishings and operation advanced 2.6 percent. Overall housing costs rose 5.4 percent in the past year.
 The cost of medical care in the Seattle area advanced 3.9 percent in the second half of 1991 and surged 10.2 percent when compared to year-ago levels. Despite a small 0.1 percent rise in the cost of personal care, the other goods and services category rose 3.1 percent in the second half of 1991 and was up 6.3 percent when compared to the second half of 1990. The cost of entertainment increased 4.4 percent over-the-year after rising a moderate 0.9 percent in the second half of 1991.
 The cost of apparel and upkeep in the Seattle area rose 1.9 percent in the second half of 1991 and a slight 0.7 percent when compared to the second half of 1990. The index for apparel commodities rose 1.4 percent despite declines in price tags of 1.2 percent for men's and boys' apparel, 4.1 percent for women's and girls' apparel, and 0.4 percent for footwear. The apparel commodities index also includes sewing materials, notions, luggage, watches, and jewelry.
 Transportation costs rose 1.1 percent in the second half of 1991 despite a 3.0 percent drop in the cost of gasoline and a 1.9 percent decline in the cost of public transportation. When compared to the second half of 1990, local gasoline prices fell 11.3 percent, the public transportation index rose 4.2 percent, and overall transportation costs rose a moderate 1.4 percent.
 The food and beverages category decreased 0.6 percent in the second half of 1991 as a 1.8 percent decline in grocery prices more than offset increases of 0.6 percent in the cost of eating out and 0.5 percent in prices for alcoholic beverages. Prices for fruits and vegetables fell 9.3 percent in the second half after soaring 17.9 percent in the first half of 1991. In the past year, the cost of eating out in the Seattle area advanced 5.2 percent, prices for alcoholic beverages rose 10.2 percent, and the overall food and beverages category increased 4.5 percent.
 Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers:
 Indexes for semiannual averages and percent changes
 for selected periods
 (Data are not seasonally adjusted)
 Seattle-Tacoma, Wash.
 (1982-84-100, unless otherwise noted)
 Percent change
 Semiannual to 2nd half
 average index 1991 from-
 1st 2nd 2nd 1st
 half half half half
 1991 1991 1990 1991
 Expenditure category
 All items .......................... 133.0 135.2 4.5 1.7
 Food and beverages ............... 141.1 140.2 4.5 -.6
 Food ........................... 141.2 140.1 3.9 -.8
 Food at home ................. 139.0 136.5 2.9 -1.8
 Food away from home .......... 146.5 147.4 5.2 .6
 Alcoholic beverages ............ 140.6 141.3 10.2 .5
 Housing .......................... 132.3 135.8 5.4 2.6
 Shelter ........................ 145.6 150.2 6.7 3.2
 Fuel and other utilities ....... 97.2 97.7 1.0 .5
 Household furnishings and
 operation ..................... 121.0 123.0 2.6 1.7
 Apparel and upkeep ............... 112.3 114.4 .7 1.9
 Transportation .................. 119.3 120.6 1.4 1.1
 Private transportation ......... 121.6 123.3 1.1 1.4
 Motor fuel ................... 98.2 95.3 -11.3 -3.0
 Public transportation .......... 107.7 105.7 4.2 -1.9
 Medical care ..................... 166.2 172.6 10.2 3.9
 Entertainment .................... 135.3 136.5 4.4 .9
 Other goods and services ......... 154.1 158.9 6.3 3.1
 Personal care .................. 123.3 123.4 .0 .1
 Special indexes
 All items less energy .............. 137.2 139.9 5.4 2.0
 Energy ............................. 98.0 95.0 -8.0 -3.1
 -0- 2/19/92
 /CONTACT: Sam Hirabayashi, 415-744-7166; or Leon Bornstein, 415-744-7163, both of 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 -- SF009 -- 0448 02/19/92 12:20 EST
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Date:Feb 19, 1992
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