Report: Honolulu has less inflationary pressure than other U.S. cities
Tue, Mar 14, 2023 11:38 AM
By Merrilee Gasser, The Center Square
Honolulu's Consumer Price Index is up 5.2% from a year ago, but the city still has some of the lowest inflationary pressure in the U.S., according to a report from personal finance website WalletHub.
The website compared 22 major cities to see where inflation is rising the most and presenting the most significant problems for people. It used two key metrics related to the index, which is used to measure inflation. By comparing the index change to two months ago and one year ago, the report sought to give a snapshot of where inflation is the worst.
Honolulu is rated 20th on the list of 22 cities. The report found that its consumer price index rose 0.30% over two months ago and over 5% from a year ago.
In Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater, Florida, which rated the highest for inflation in the report, the index has risen 1.7% from two months ago and nearly 9% from a year ago.
Inflation has improved in Hawaii, but higher interest rates from the Federal Reserve could lead to a "sharper slowdown" in the state, according to a report released last week from the Economic Research Organization at the University of Hawaii.
Many factors led to high inflation, including "low-interest rates, high money supply, large fiscal deficit, domestic labor market conditions, supply chain disturbance in international trade, high global energy prices, relative exchange rate changes, and so on," according to WalletHub expert Liang Wang, an associate professor of economics at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Wang said while raising interest rates and downsizing balance sheets cast concern over an economic recession, he is still feeling optimistic about the U.S. economy.
"If the Fed and the government can put up some timely measures to stabilize the expectations of consumers and firms and restore the country's faith in its economy. After all, we have not seen any abrupt, imminent, and detrimental factors that will freeze the economy such as the 2008 financial crisis or COVID-19. If a recession was coming, it would be slow and gradual," Wang said.