Consumer Price Index (CPI)

See Also:
Economic Indicators
What is Inflation?
Supply and Demand Elasticity
The Feds Beige Book
Stagflation

Consumer Prince Index (CPI) Defined

The consumer price index is an economic indicator that measures changes in prices of typical consumer expenses. It is used to measure inflation and the cost of living in a geographic area. For example, if living expenses rise in a particular region due to inflation, this would result in an increase in that region’s CPI. The CPI is published monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Department of Labor.

Consumer Price Index Basket

The CPI is calculated using the prices of items in a “basket” of typical consumer goods and services. The basket includes food, transportation, shelter, clothing, medical care, entertainment, and other items. Prices are determined by samples taken from stores or providers in the relevant geographic area. The prices are weighted according to the item’s significance to the consumer. The core CPI is a variant of the CPI that excludes food and energy prices.

Cost of Living Index

The consumer price index is also called the cost of living index.

Headline Inflation Definition

The consumer price index is also referred to as headline inflation.

US CPI Components

The U.S. CPI covers more than 200 categories of goods and services. The categories fall into 8 groupings:

1. Food and Beverages
2. Housing
3. Apparel
4. Transportation
5. Medical care
6. Recreation
7. Education and Communication
8. Other Goods and Services

Consumer Price Index Homepage For more information about the CPI, go to: www.blg.gov/cpi

For more information about the CPI frequently asked questions, go to: www.bls.gov/cpi/cpifaq

US CPI Historical Data For historical CPI data, go to: ftp.bls.gov/pub

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