Washington area consumer prices rose 0.1 percent during the last two months, as substantial increases in clothing costs were partially offset by lower costs for housing, transportation and grocery store foods, the Labor Department said yesterday.
The rise in August and September followed local price increases of 1.1 percent in the preceding two-month period, and 0.2 percent in the two-month period before that, according to the department's bureau of labor statistics.
The local consumer price index, which is calculated every other month, now stands at 323.6, which means that a list of items that cost $10 in 1967 would now cost $32.36.
Over the 12-month period ended in September, Washington area prices rose 3.4 percent, compared to a national increase of 3.2 percent.
During the August-September period, overall prices for apparel and upkeep rose 6.7 percent locally, largely because of the introduction of higher priced fall and winter clothing, the bureau reported. Prices for women's and girls' clothing rose 29.2 percent.
Prices also rose for medical care, entertainment and "other goods and services," which includes seasonal increases in tuition costs and school books and supplies.
But these price increases were virtually offset by declines in other areas, particularly in local housing. Housing costs -- which include rent, furnishings, fuel and other utilities -- declined 1 percent.
Transportation costs declined 0.3 percent in the last two months, reflecting lower gasoline and used car prices, and a drop in automobile finance charges.
Washington area grocery store food prices declined 0.2 percent over the last two months.