Consumer prices in the Washington area rose 0.9 percent during the last two months, largely because of increases in the costs of housing, entertainment, medical care and education, the Labor Department said yesterday.
The rise during October and November follows consumer price increases of 1.5 percent in the two months ended in September and 0.9 percent in the two months ended in July. The index is calculated every other month.
For the 12-month period ended in November, Washington-area consumer prices rose 5.7 percent, compared with a 4 percent increase in the national consumer price index.
The Washington-area consumer price index stands at 315.8, which means that an item that cost $10 in 1967 now costs $31.58.
Local housing prices rose 1.3 percent over October and November, following an increase of 2.2 percent in the previous two months. Homeowners' costs rose 1.6 percent and renters' costs increased 0.8 percent, the Labor Department said.
Household furnishings and operations costs rose 2.4 percent, as price increases for household equipment, appliances, supplies and textiles more than offset price declines for furniture and bedding.
Washington-area entertainment costs rose 3.6 percent, reflecting higher membership dues and more expensive sports cars, the department said.
Medical care costs rose 1.9 percent.
Higher prices for new cars and automobile insurance helped drive transportation costs up, despite lower prices for gasoline, auto maintenance and repairs.
Food and beverage prices rose 0.1 percent, largely because of increases in the costs of food consumed away from home. Prices were lower for most grocery-store foods and alcoholic beverages.
Costs of household fuels were unchanged on average.