The consumer price index is an economic indicator that measures changes in prices of typical consumer expenses. It is also 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.
Calculate the CPI 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. Then 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.
The U.S. CPI covers more than 200 categories of goods and services. The categories fall into the following 8 groupings:
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Consumer Price Index Homepage
If you want more information about the CPI, then go to: www.blg.gov/cpi.
If you want more information about the CPI frequently asked questions, then go to: www.bls.gov/cpi/cpifaq.
US CPI Historical Data
If you want historical CPI data, then go to: ftp.bls.gov/pub.