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SHARP DROP IN HOUSING INDEX LEFT OVERALL PHILADELPHIA-AREA PRICE LEVEL UNCHANGED

 SHARP DROP IN HOUSING INDEX LEFT OVERALL
 PHILADELPHIA-AREA PRICE LEVEL UNCHANGED
 PHILADELPHIA, May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Philadelphia area consumer prices were unchanged in April, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced today.
 Alan M. Paisner, the bureau's regional commissioner, noted that April's price stability was the result of a strong decline in housing and lower energy prices offsetting increases in all other major components. Local price changes have been quite volatile since the fall, with periods of rapid increase balanced by months with little or no change or even decline. The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 3.3 percent since last April and at an annual rate of 2.8 percent over the last three months.
 Broad-based declines within the housing component resulted in an 0.8 percent over-the-month decline. Over the last 12 months the housing index rose 2.7 percent, the smallest such increase in over five years.
 The apparel index rose 3.1 percent in April following a 6.6 percent increase in March. Food and beverage prices were up, mainly due to higher priced groceries. Produce prices were 2.0 percent higher, the fourth month of the last five where the monthly increase was at least 2 percent. Transportation prices rose after three months of decline as public transportation prices surged due to higher airline fares.
 In April, the CPI-U stood at 145.4 on the 1982-84 equals 100 reference base. A market basket of goods and services that cost $100 in 1982-84 would have cost $145.40 last month. The local Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers Index (CPI-W) increased 0.1 percent last month and stood at 145.1 on the 1982-84 base.
 In the other four cities priced monthly by the bureau, prices were up 0.1 percent in Chicago and New York, up 0.2 percent in Los Angeles, and down 0.2 percent in San Francisco.
 PERCENT CHANGE IN CPI-U IN PHILADELPHIA (NOT SEASONALLY ADJUSTED)
 Change from preceding Compound Change for
 month to annual rate 12 months
 Expenditure Feb. Mar. Apr. Three months ended ended
 category 1992 1992 1992 April 1992 April 1992
 All items -0.1 0.8 0.0 2.8 3.3
 Food & beverages 0.3 0.5 0.4 5.1 1.3
 Housing 0.1 0.3 -0.8 -1.6 2.7
 Apparel & upkeep -4.2 6.6 3.1 22.7 4.6
 Transportation -0.4 -0.1 0.3 -0.9 3.7
 Medical care 0.4 1.8 0.5 11.1 6.9
 Entertainment -0.1 2.7 1.4 17.4 3.9
 Other goods
 & services 0.7 0.6 0.2 6.0 5.5
 Special index:
 Energy -0.9 -0.9 -1.2 -11.5 -0.9
 /delval/
 -0- 5/13/92
 /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 -- 9496 05/13/92 08:59 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 13, 1992
Words:513
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