The Consumer Price Index: According to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics which has an excellent webste at www.bls.gov
What is the CPI?
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services.
Is the CPI the best measure of inflation?
Inflation has been defined as a process of continuously rising prices or equivalently, of a continuously falling value of money.
Various indexes have been devised to measure different aspects of inflation. The CPI measures inflation as experienced by consumers in their day-to-day living expenses; the Producer Price Index (PPI) measures inflation at earlier stages of the production process; the Employment Cost Index (ECI) measures it in the labor market; the BLS International Price Program measures it for imports and exports; and the Gross Domestic Product Deflator (GDP Deflator) measures inflation experienced by both consumers themselves as well as governments and other institutions providing goods and services to consumers. Finally, there are specialized measures, such as measures of interest rates.
The “best” measure of inflation for a given application depends on the intended use of the data. The CPI is generally the best measure for adjusting payments to consumers when the intent is to allow consumers to purchase at today’s prices, a market basket of goods and services equivalent to one that they could purchase in an earlier period.
Release Time:8:30 ET, about the 13th of each month for the prior month.
More to come. JK