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News Release Information

21-243-SAN
Wednesday, February 10, 2021

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Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (415) 625-2270

Consumer Price Index, Honolulu Area – January 2021

Area prices were up 0.3 percent over the past two months, up 1.4 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Honolulu area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 0.3 percent for the two months ending in January 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the January increase was influenced by higher prices for shelter and food away from home. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, bi-monthly changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U rose 1.4 percent. The index for all items less food and energy rose 1.4 percent over the year. Food prices increased 5.8 percent. Energy prices dropped 10.7 percent, largely the result of a decrease in the price of gasoline. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices advanced 0.5 percent for the two months ending in January. (See table 1.) Prices for food away from home rose 1.6 percent. Prices for food at home decreased 0.5 percent for the same period influenced by lower prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (-2.5 percent) and fruits and vegetables (-2.3 percent).

Over the year, food prices increased 5.8 percent. Prices for food at home increased 9.0 percent influenced by higher prices for nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials (19.8 percent), fruits and vegetables (10.9 percent), and meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (9.7 percent). Prices for food away from home rose 2.2 percent since a year ago.

Energy

The energy index rose 2.6 percent for the two months ending in January. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (3.2 percent). Prices for natural gas service rose 6.4 percent, and prices for electricity increased 1.8 percent for the same period.

Energy prices dropped 10.7 percent over the year, largely due to lower prices for gasoline (-11.6 percent). Prices paid for electricity declined 9.9 percent and prices for natural gas service decreased 3.1 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy edged up 0.1 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for motor vehicle insurance (8.1 percent), household furnishings and operations (1.5 percent), and shelter (0.8 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for new vehicles (-4.4 percent), recreation (-4.2 percent), and medical care (-0.8 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 1.4 percent. Components contributing to the increase included new and used motor vehicles (6.5 percent), education and communication (2.9 percent) and shelter (1.8 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price decreases in apparel (-7.1 percent) and recreation (-2.0 percent).

The March 2021 Consumer Price Index for the Honolulu area is scheduled to be released on April 13, 2021.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on January 2021 Consumer Price Index Data

Data collection by personal visit for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) program has been suspended since March 16, 2020. When possible, data normally collected by personal visit were collected either online or by phone. Additionally, data collection in January was affected by the temporary closing or limited operations of certain types of establishments. These factors resulted in an increase in the number of prices considered temporarily unavailable and imputed.

While the CPI program attempted to collect as much data as possible, many indexes are based on smaller amounts of collected prices than usual, and a small number of indexes that are normally published were not published this month. Additional information is available at https://www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-consumer-price-index.htm.


Technical Note

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measures 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 93 percent of the total U.S. population and (2) a CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) which covers approximately 29 percent of the total U.S. 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 75 urban areas across the country from about 6,000 housing units and approximately 22,000 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; for most of the CPI-U the reference base is 1982-84 equals 100. An increase of 7 percent from the reference base, for example, is shown as 107.000.  Alternatively, that relationship can also be expressed as the price of a base period market basket of goods and services rising from $100 to $107. For further details see the CPI home page on the Internet at www.bls.gov/cpi and the CPI section of the BLS Handbook of Methods available on the internet at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/cpi/.

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 Urban Hawaii area covered in this release consists of Honolulu 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 and percent changes for selected periods

Urban Hawaii (1982-84=100 unless otherwise noted)
Item and Group

Indexes Percent change from-
Nov.
2020
Dec.
2020
Jan.
2021
Jan.
2020
Nov.
2020
Dec.
2020

Expenditure category

All items

286.872 - 287.634 1.4 0.3 -

All items (1967=100)

789.750 - 791.849 - - -

Food and beverages

303.016 - 304.273 5.8 0.4 -

Food

303.145 - 304.609 5.8 0.5 -

Food at home

301.003 302.047 299.644 9.0 -0.5 -0.8

Cereals and bakery products

326.099 - 337.222 7.3 3.4 -

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

285.294 - 278.081 9.7 -2.5 -

Dairy and related products

241.548 - 253.130 4.1 4.8 -

Fruits and vegetables

387.397 - 378.514 10.9 -2.3 -

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

375.393 - 387.041 19.8 3.1 -

Other food at home

283.454 - 279.373 5.8 -1.4 -

Food away from home

297.334 - 302.198 2.2 1.6 -

Alcoholic beverages

299.376 - 297.259 6.7 -0.7 -

Housing

313.054 - 315.706 1.1 0.8 -

Shelter

344.034 344.396 346.669 1.8 0.8 0.7

Rent of primary residence(2)

342.165 341.258 342.021 1.5 0.0 0.2

Owners' equiv. rent of residences(2)

354.575 353.845 357.490 1.7 0.8 1.0

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence(2)

354.575 353.845 357.490 1.7 0.8 1.0

Fuels and utilities

349.028 - 352.982 -5.1 1.1 -

Household energy

259.177 256.777 264.380 -9.5 2.0 3.0

Energy services

254.365 251.995 259.521 -9.6 2.0 3.0

Electricity

251.880 249.213 256.499 -9.9 1.8 2.9

Utility (piped) gas service

257.336 262.350 273.801 -3.1 6.4 4.4

Household furnishings and operations

149.206 - 151.455 1.5 1.5 -

Apparel

111.693 - 111.668 -7.1 0.0 -

Transportation

215.667 - 216.018 -1.4 0.2 -

Private transportation

218.971 - 219.368 -0.7 0.2 -

New and used motor vehicles(3)

108.790 - 105.138 6.5 -3.4 -

New vehicles(1)

174.145 - 166.488 6.6 -4.4 -

Used cars and trucks(1)

260.819 - 256.402 9.1 -1.7 -

Motor fuel

234.930 239.222 242.483 -11.7 3.2 1.4

Gasoline (all types)

241.056 245.473 248.844 -11.6 3.2 1.4

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

248.702 253.341 256.918 -12.5 3.3 1.4

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

212.780 214.615 217.038 -8.2 2.0 1.1

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

230.201 234.398 237.305 -8.4 3.1 1.2

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

432.281 - 467.157 -2.2 8.1 -

Medical care

437.903 - 434.368 - -0.8 -

Recreation(3)

137.843 - 131.999 -2.0 -4.2 -

Education and communication(3)

149.269 - 149.143 2.9 -0.1 -

Tuition, other school fees, and child care(1)

1,810.241 - 1,810.241 0.8 0.0 -

Other goods and services

506.997 - 513.586 2.7 1.3 -

Commodity and service group

All items

286.872 - 287.634 1.4 0.3 -

Commodities

210.139 - 209.784 1.6 -0.2 -

Commodities less food & beverages

154.440 - 153.210 -2.6 -0.8 -

Nondurables less food & beverages

189.710 - 189.797 -7.0 0.0 -

Durables

114.150 - 112.022 3.7 -1.9 -

Services

353.843 - 355.559 1.3 0.5 -

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

278.798 - 279.764 1.4 0.3 -

All items less shelter

261.787 - 261.563 1.1 -0.1 -

Commodities less food

159.558 - 158.295 -2.1 -0.8 -

Nondurables

249.130 - 249.849 1.0 0.3 -

Nondurables less food

196.618 - 196.561 -5.9 0.0 -

Services less rent of shelter(2)

363.606 - 363.699 0.5 0.0 -

Services less medical care services

344.883 - 346.623 1.2 0.5 -

Energy

244.147 245.434 250.605 -10.7 2.6 2.1

All items less energy

291.278 - 291.698 2.1 0.1 -

All items less food and energy

290.890 - 291.104 1.4 0.1 -

Footnotes
(1) Indexes on a December 1977=100 base.
(2) Indexes on a December 1982=100 base.
(3) Indexes on a December 1997=100 base.
(4) Special index based on a substantially smaller sample.
(5) Indexes on a December 1993=100 base.

- Data not available
NOTE: Index applies to a month as a whole, not to any specific date.

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, February 10, 2021