Area prices up 0.7percent over the past six months, up 2.0 percent from a year ago
Prices in the greater Honolulu area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 0.7 percent in the second half of 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that this latest six-month period increase was influenced by higher prices for shelter and food. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, month-to-month changes may reflect seasonal influences.)
Over the past 12 months, the CPI-U rose 2.0 percent. (See chart 1.) Energy prices rose 1.4 percent, mainly due to an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.7 percent over the year.
Food prices increased 0.9 percent in the second half of 2012. (See table 1.) Prices for food at home were up 0.6 percent for the past six months. Prices for food away from home advanced 1.5 percent for the same period.
For the year ending in the second half of 2012, food prices rose 3.8 percent. Prices for food at home moved up 2.9 percent during the past 12 months, and prices for food away from home increased 4.5 percent.
The energy index decreased 0.9 percent since the first half of 2012. This decrease was influenced by lower prices for natural gas service (-3.5 percent) and gasoline (-2.1 percent). In contrast, prices for electricity increased 0.5 percent.
Energy prices moved up 1.4 percent over the year. This was mainly due to a 3.7 percent increase in gasoline prices. Prices for electricity were unchanged, while prices for natural gas service decreased 1.3 percent.
All items less food and energy
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.8 percent from the first half of 2012 to the second half of 2012. Among the index components, increases were recorded for education and communication (2.2 percent), shelter (1.1 percent), and recreation (1.0 percent). In contrast, lower prices were recorded for apparel (-1.2 percent).
Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.7 percent. Components contributing to the increase included recreation (3.7 percent), education and communication (3.5 percent), medical care (2.6 percent), and shelter (1.5 percent).
Table A. Honolulu CPI-U semi-annual and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
In the second half of 2012, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) was 249.135, up 0.5 percent. The CPI-W increased 2.0 percent over the year.
The first half of 2013 Consumer Price Index for Honolulu is scheduled to be released August 15, 2013.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure of the average change in prices over time in a fixed market basket of goods and services. The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes CPIs for two population groups: (1) a CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) which covers approximately 88 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 29 percent of the total population. The CPI-U includes, in addition to wage earners and clerical workers, groups such as professional, managerial, and technical workers, the self-employed, short-term workers, the unemployed, and retirees and others not in the labor force.
The CPI is based on prices of food, clothing, shelter, and fuels, transportation fares, charges for doctors' and dentists' services, drugs, and the other goods and services that people buy for day-to-day living.
Each month, prices are collected in 87 urban areas across the country from about 4,000 housing units and approximately 26,000 retail establishments--department stores, supermarkets, hospitals, filling stations, and other types of stores and service establishments. All taxes directly associated with the purchase and use of items are included in the index.
The index measures price changes from a designated reference date (1982-84) that equals 100.0. An increase of 16.5 percent, for example, is shown as 116.5. This change can also be expressed in dollars as follows: the price of a base period "market basket" of goods and services in the CPI has risen from $10 in 1982-84 to $11.65. For further details see the CPI home page on the Internet at www.bls.gov/cpi and the BLS Handbook of Methods, Chapter 17, The Consumer Price Index, available on the Internet at
In calculating the index, price changes for the various items in each location are averaged together with weights that represent their importance in the spending of the appropriate population group. Local data are then combined to obtain a U.S. city average. Because the sample size of a local area is smaller, the local area index is subject to substantially more sampling and other measurement error than the national index. In addition, local indexes are not adjusted for seasonal influences. As a result, local area indexes show greater volatility than the national index, although their long-term trends are quite similar. NOTE:
Area indexes do not measure differences in the level of prices between cities; they only measure the average change in prices for each area since the base period.
The Honolulu, HI metropolitan area covered in this release is comprised of Oahu County in the State of Hawaii.
Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.