Question: I have heard over the years that the CPI does not include taxes as one of its components. In other words, an increase or decrease in a tax rate is not considered a change in consumer prices/costs. Is this true? If so, how is this omission justified? Thank you, James Schmidt … [Read more...]
Inflation vs Consumer Price Index – Do you know the difference?
Many people are confused by the difference between Inflation and the Consumer Price Index. The Consumer Price Index is as its name implies an index, or “a number used to measure change”. The Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) The government chose an arbitrary date to be the base year and set that equal to 100. Currently that date is 1984. (Or more accurately the average of the years 1982-1984) previously the base year was 1967 (they change the base year every once in a while so you don't notice that there has been over 2000% inflation since the start). See Cumulative Inflation Since 1913. Every month the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) surveys prices around the country for a basket of … [Read more...]
Bureau of Labor Statistics Changes CPI
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) made changes of historical proportions this month by changing how the Consumer Price Index is reported. For the first time in history the BLS has begun reporting the Consumer Price Index to three decimal points. Their official statement is as follows: "Effective with this release, index levels are now published to three decimal places. Percent changes based on these three-decimal place indexes will continue to be published to one decimal place. " So for January 2007 the CPI-U index is now 202.416 rather than 202.4 but their official inflation rate is still 2.1% rather than the 2.08% that we calculate it out to. While I applaud the higher level … [Read more...]