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15-1617-SAN
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

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Consumer Price Index, Honolulu – First Half 2015

Area prices down 0.5 percent over the past six months, up 0.7 percent from a year ago

Prices in the greater Honolulu area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), declined 0.5 percent in the first half of 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See table A.) Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that this latest six-month decrease was influenced by lower prices for gasoline and electricity. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, six-month-to-six-month changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the past 12 months, the CPI-U rose 0.7 percent.  (See chart 1 and table A.) Energy prices fell 22.7 percent, mainly due to a drop in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy increased 2.3 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

 Chart 1. Over-the-year percent change in CPI-U, Honolulu, first half 2012 – first half 2015

 

Food

Food prices advanced 1.8 percent in the first half of 2015. (See table 1.) Prices for food away from home increased 3.2 percent for the past six months. Prices for food at home edged up 0.2 percent for the same period.

For the year ending in the first half of 2015, food prices rose 4.4 percent. Prices for food away from home advanced 5.7 percent during the past 12 months, and prices for food at home increased 2.6 percent.

Energy

Energy prices fell 20.7 percent since the second half of 2014, strongly influenced by a 23.2 percent decrease in the price of gasoline. Lower prices for electricity (-18.2 percent) and, to a lesser extent, natural gas service (-17.9 percent) also had an impact.

Energy prices dropped 22.7 percent over the year mainly due to a 26.2 percent decrease in the price of gasoline. Lower prices for utility natural gas service (-20.5 percent) and electricity (-18.7 percent) contributed to the decrease during the past 12 months.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.9 percent from the second half of 2014 to the first half of 2015. Among the index components, price increases were recorded for medical care (2.6 percent), other goods and services (1.7 percent), shelter (1.2 percent), and education and communication (1.0 percent). In contrast, lower prices were reported for household furnishings and operations (-1.3 percent) and apparel (-0.1 percent) during the past six months.

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 2.3 percent. Prices increased for other goods and services (5.3 percent), medical care (4.8 percent), education and communication (3.1 percent), and shelter (3.0 percent). Partially offsetting the increases were lower prices for apparel (-2.1 percent) and household furnishings and operations (-1.2 percent).

Table A. Honolulu CPI-U semi-annual and annual percent changes (not seasonally adjusted)
Month 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Semi-annual Annual Semi-annual Annual Semi-annual Annual Semi-annual Annual Semi-annual Annual Semi-annual Annual

First Half

0.8 2.5 2.5 3.5 1.3 2.8 1.2 1.8 0.5 1.1 -0.5 0.7

Second Half

0.9 1.7 1.4 4.0 0.7 2.0 0.6 1.7 1.3 1.8    

The second half of 2015 Consumer Price Index for Honolulu is scheduled to be released mid-January 2016.


Technical Note

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 89 percent of the total population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers 28 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 6,000 housing units and approximately 24,000 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 www.bls.gov/opub/hom/homch17_a.htm.

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 metropolitan area covered in this release consists 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: (800) 877-8339

Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): Indexes for semiannual averages and percent changes for selected periods

Honolulu, HI (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

 
Semiannual average indexes
 
Percent change to
1st half 2015 from-
1st half
2014
2nd half
2014
1st half
2015
1st half
2014
2nd half
2014

Expenditure category

 
 

All items

255.989 259.190 257.848 0.7 -0.5

All items (1967=100)

704.730 713.543 709.848 - -

Food and beverages

252.895 259.151 263.610 4.2 1.7

Food

253.021 259.386 264.047 4.4 1.8

Food at home

257.455 263.728 264.135 2.6 0.2

Food away from home

244.746 250.660 258.797 5.7 3.2

Alcoholic beverages

248.693 253.272 254.712 2.4 0.6

Housing

271.656 275.343 274.380 1.0 -0.3

Shelter

286.992 292.046 295.504 3.0 1.2

Rent of primary residence

284.996 290.631 293.792 3.1 1.1

Owners' equiv. rent of residences (1)

296.319 301.175 305.094 3.0 1.3

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence (1)

296.319 301.175 305.094 3.0 1.3

Fuels and utilities

372.764 378.605 334.075 -10.4 -11.8

Household energy

336.199 333.793 273.872 -18.5 -18.0

Energy services

331.319 328.983 269.057 -18.8 -18.2

Electricity

328.140 326.096 266.665 -18.7 -18.2

Utility (piped) gas service

336.870 326.205 267.712 -20.5 -17.9

Household furnishings and operations

151.243 151.312 149.378 -1.2 -1.3

Apparel

112.261 110.021 109.941 -2.1 -0.1

Transportation

237.614 235.132 217.288 -8.6 -7.6

Private transportation

238.868 235.748 215.372 -9.8 -8.6

Motor fuel

323.852 310.944 239.388 -26.1 -23.0

Gasoline (all types)

332.979 319.624 245.627 -26.2 -23.2

Gasoline, unleaded regular (2)

353.670 338.353 258.769 -26.8 -23.5

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade (2) (3)

260.927 253.927 198.119 -24.1 -22.0

Gasoline, unleaded premium (2)

292.718 281.799 218.577 -25.3 -22.4

Medical care

348.133 355.393 364.754 4.8 2.6

Recreation (4)

119.313 119.860 120.419 0.9 0.5

Education and communication (4)

141.981 144.995 146.406 3.1 1.0

Other goods and services

450.011 465.906 473.733 5.3 1.7
 

Commodity and service group

 
 

All Items

255.989 259.190 257.848 0.7 -0.5

Commodities

200.215 201.900 197.662 -1.3 -2.1

Commodities less food & beverages

166.088 165.302 156.607 -5.7 -5.3

Nondurables less food & beverages

210.735 209.306 192.522 -8.6 -8.0

Durables

117.045 116.938 116.900 -0.1 0.0

Services

304.968 309.416 310.299 1.7 0.3
 

Special aggregate indexes

 
 

All items less medical care

251.148 254.122 252.166 0.4 -0.8

All items less shelter

242.799 245.532 241.690 -0.5 -1.6

Commodities less food

169.359 168.744 160.348 -5.3 -5.0

Nondurables

233.276 235.752 229.670 -1.5 -2.6

Nondurables less food

213.093 212.030 196.349 -7.9 -7.4

Services less rent of shelter (1)

327.664 332.392 329.223 0.5 -1.0

Services less medical care services

299.966 304.281 304.147 1.4 0.0

Energy

328.699 320.356 253.948 -22.7 -20.7

All items less energy

253.086 256.956 259.668 2.6 1.1

All items less food and energy

254.519 257.958 260.332 2.3 0.9

Footnotes
(1) Index is on a December 1982=100 base.
(2) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(3) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.
(4) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
 

- Data not available.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, August 19, 2015