Isle incomes lag behind inflation
Personal incomes in Honolulu kept pace with the nation last year, according to a report released yesterday by the federal government, but the gains weren't sufficient to cushion residents from inflation's erosion.
According to a report by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis, Hawaii's per-capita income rose 5.2 percent to $36,299 in 2006, the most recent year for which the agency's analysis is available.
While Hawaii's rise was on par with U.S. growth, it was a full 2 percentage points below 7.2 percent income growth experienced in 2004-2005.
Hawaii's economy has begun to slow from the highs that it had experienced during the past few years, said State Economist Pearl Imada Iboshi.
"This reflects that slowdown," she said. "It's still growing, but not at the pace that it was."
Honolulu ranked 20th for percent change in per-capita income. Per capita income is the annual total income of residents divided by a state's population. Total personal income in Honolulu rose 6.3 percent in 2006 to $46.6 billion from $43.9 billion the previous year.
"We're growing at the U.S. average and that's OK," Imada Iboshi said. "It's not terrific growth, especially given that our inflation rate is higher, but in the not too distant past we were below the U.S. average."
Honolulu's overall consumer price index jumped 5.9 percent in 2006, the most recent measure from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. The rise was the biggest increase recorded of any U.S. city.
The bureau estimated the U.S. inflation rate for 2006 at 2.8 percent, down from 2.9 percent in 2005 while per-capita personal income rose 5.2 percent nationally in 2005 to $36,276, up from $34,471 a year earlier.