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News Release Information

21-666-SAN
Tuesday, April 13, 2021

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

Consumer Price Index, Honolulu Area – March 2021

Area prices were up 0.9 percent over the past two months, up 1.8 percent from a year ago

Prices in the Honolulu area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 0.9 percent for the two months ending in March 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Christopher J. Rosenlund noted that the March increase was influenced by higher prices for gasoline. (Data in this report are not seasonally adjusted. Accordingly, bi-monthly changes may reflect seasonal influences.)

Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U increased 1.8 percent. Food prices advanced 6.4 percent. Energy prices rose 0.9 percent, largely the result of an increase in the price of gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.9 percent over the year. (See table 1.)

Food

Food prices rose 0.4 percent for the two months ending in March. (See table 1.) Prices for food away from home rose 0.9 percent. Prices for food at home edged down 0.1 percent for the same period influenced by lower prices for fruits and vegetables (-5.7 percent), cereals and bakery products (-5.2 percent), and dairy and related products (-4.5 percent).

Over the year, food prices advanced 6.4 percent. Prices for food at home advanced 9.5 percent influenced by higher prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (17.3 percent) and other food at home (11.5 percent). Prices for food away from home moved up 3.1 percent since a year ago.

Energy

The energy index jumped 10.5 percent for the two months ending in March. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline (15.2 percent). Prices for natural gas service advanced 9.9 percent, and prices for electricity increased 4.9 percent for the same period.

Energy prices rose 0.9 percent over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (9.0 percent). Prices paid for natural gas service advanced 1.7 percent, but prices for electricity declined 8.2 percent during the past year.

All items less food and energy

The index for all items less food and energy advanced 0.5 percent in the latest two-month period. Higher prices for recreation (2.6 percent) and shelter (0.3 percent) were partially offset by lower prices for motor vehicle insurance (-5.3 percent)) and apparel (-4.1 percent).

Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy rose 0.9 percent. Components contributing to the increase included education and communication (4.1 percent) and shelter (0.8 percent). Partly offsetting the increases were price decreases in both apparel and motor vehicle insurance (-8.8 percent).

The May 2021 Consumer Price Index for the Honolulu area is scheduled to be released on June 10, 2021.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on March 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 March 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

IndexesPercent change from-
Jan.
2021
Feb.
2021
Mar.
2021
Mar.
2020
Jan.
2021
Feb.
2021

Expenditure category

All items

287.634-290.3611.80.9-

All items (1967=100)

791.849-799.356---

Food and beverages

304.273-305.9436.70.5-

Food

304.609-305.6936.40.4-

Food at home

299.644298.311299.2499.5-0.10.3

Cereals and bakery products

337.222-319.6913.2-5.2-

Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs

278.081-289.52717.34.1-

Dairy and related products

253.130-241.7185.1-4.5-

Fruits and vegetables

378.514-356.8943.8-5.7-

Nonalcoholic beverages and beverage materials(1)

387.041-381.6557.3-1.4-

Other food at home

279.373-291.27111.54.3-

Food away from home

302.198-305.0533.10.9-

Alcoholic beverages

297.259-308.44910.03.8-

Housing

315.706-317.5310.30.6-

Shelter

346.669347.658347.7020.80.30.0

Rent of primary residence(2)

342.021342.719342.083-0.50.0-0.2

Owners' equiv. rent of residences(2)

357.490358.909358.1490.70.2-0.2

Owners' equiv. rent of primary residence(2)

357.490358.909358.1490.70.2-0.2

Fuels and utilities

352.982-363.222-4.02.9-

Household energy

264.380272.959277.935-7.65.11.8

Energy services

259.521267.960272.857-7.85.11.8

Electricity

256.499264.572269.116-8.24.91.7

Utility (piped) gas service

273.801288.884300.9161.79.94.2

Household furnishings and operations

151.455-153.1850.21.1-

Apparel

111.668-107.130-8.8-4.1-

Transportation

216.018-223.9002.93.6-

Private transportation

219.368-229.0573.54.4-

New and used motor vehicles(3)

105.138-106.4993.51.3-

New vehicles(1)

166.488-166.5370.50.0-

Used cars and trucks(1)

256.402-263.7728.72.9-

Motor fuel

242.483252.952279.2559.015.210.4

Gasoline (all types)

248.844259.595286.6289.015.210.4

Gasoline, unleaded regular(4)

256.918269.106296.9698.715.610.4

Gasoline, unleaded midgrade(4)(5)

217.038217.837235.6724.18.68.2

Gasoline, unleaded premium(4)

237.305244.574271.43111.414.411.0

Motor vehicle insurance(1)

467.157-442.557-8.8-5.3-

Medical care

434.368-----

Recreation(3)

131.999-135.4450.22.6-

Education and communication(3)

149.143-150.6424.11.0-

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

1,810.241-1,841.5682.51.7-

Other goods and services

513.586-519.2263.41.1-

Commodity and service group

All items

287.634-290.3611.80.9-

Commodities

209.784-213.0953.31.6-

Commodities less food & beverages

153.210-157.342-0.12.7-

Nondurables less food & beverages

189.797-197.525-1.04.1-

Durables

112.022-113.0531.10.9-

Services

355.559-357.8071.00.6-

Special aggregate indexes

All items less medical care

279.764-282.4591.81.0-

All items less shelter

261.563-265.2472.51.4-

Commodities less food

158.295-162.6630.52.8-

Nondurables

249.849-254.2263.91.8-

Nondurables less food

196.561-204.5060.04.0-

Services less rent of shelter(2)

363.699-367.9621.41.2-

Services less medical care services

346.623-348.8080.90.6-

Energy

250.605260.163276.8020.910.56.4

All items less energy

291.698-293.0111.80.5-

All items less food and energy

291.104-292.4730.90.5-

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: Tuesday, April 13, 2021