Honolulu inflation reaches 5-year high
Jul. 18, 2017
HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu inflation reached a five-year high during the first half of 2017.
Data released on Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show the consumer price index has risen 2.5 percent from where it was one year ago, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported (http://bit.ly/2tmq9AQ ).
Gasoline and other energy prices were the main drivers behind the increase.
Energy prices jumped 15.4 percent throughout the past year, with gas costs up 20.4 percent and electricity rising 11.8 percent.
Hugo Valenzuela, a Spanish teacher at Kailua High School, said he and his family have responded to rising prices by cutting down their use of electricity and monitoring how they spend their money.
"We're pretty frugal," Valenzuela said. "We hardly use the air conditioner unless it gets pretty hot and humid. ... As prices of everything else goes up, we're kind of stuck with that. So you have to be able to change your lifestyle."
Apparel prices also rose significantly at 5.8 percent.
The increase is the largest since a 2.8 percent increase in the first half of 2012.
Honolulu's inflation rose at a faster pace than the nation's, which was up 2.2 percent during the first six months of the year.
"A big reason inflation in Honolulu outpaced the national average over the last year was housing, the largest component of the CPI," said Matthew Insco, a U.S. Bureau of Labor economist. "Housing costs rose 4.1 percent in Honolulu compared to 3.1 percent nationwide from the first half of 2016 to the first half of 2017."
Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com