Prices in Hawaii up nearly 2 percent over last year

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Prices in the greater Honolulu area, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), advanced 0.9 percent in the second half of 2010, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that this latest six-month period increase was influenced by higher prices for education and communication and shelter.

Over the past 12 months, the CPI-U rose 1.7 percent. Energy prices jumped 8.5 percent, mainly due to an increase in the price of electricity and gasoline. The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.3 percent over the year.

Food prices inched up 0.1 percent in the second half of 2010. Prices for food at home were up 0.3 percent for the past six months. Prices for food away from home rose 0.2 percent for the same period. For the year ending in the second half of 2010, food prices rose 0.4 percent. Prices for food at home edged up 0.1 percent during the past 12 months, and prices for food away from home increased 1.2 percent.

The energy index increased 2.1 percent since the first half of 2010. This increase was influenced by higher prices for household energy (4.2 percent) and gasoline (0.6 percent). Energy prices jumped 8.5 percent over the year, strongly influenced by a 13.1 percent increase in electricity prices and a 6.0 percent increase in gasoline prices. Partially offsetting the price increase was utility (piped) gas service (-1.2 percent).

The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.0 percent from the first half of 2010 to the second half of 2010. Among the index components, increases were recorded for other goods and services (4.2 percent), education and communication (4.1 percent), recreation (1.7 percent), and shelter (0.6 percent). By contrast, lower prices were recorded for household furnishings and operations (-3.8 percent), medical care (-0.7 percent), and apparel (-0.2 percent). Over the year, the index for all items less food and energy advanced 1.3 percent. Prices increased for other goods and services (5.5 percent), education and communication (5.1 percent), apparel (4.5 percent), and recreation (3.4 percent). In contrast, lower prices were recorded for household
furnishings and operations (-5.6 percent) and medical care (-0.6 percent).