Friday, May 26, 2017

How Consumer Price Index Data Impacts You

"Every month, Debi Bertram, an economic assistant in our Philadelphia region, checks the price of milk at a local grocery store. She also goes to several stores to check the prices of items such as toothpaste, sports equipment and appliances. You may not know Debi – or any of the men and women who collect data for the Bureau of Labor Statistics – but their findings have a real impact on your life.
Among other things, they’re used for making changes in the federal income tax structure and providing cost-of-living wage adjustments for millions of American workers. Additionally, the president, Congress and the Federal Reserve Board use trends in that data to inform fiscal and monetary policies.
How does it work? BLS data collectors visit or call thousands of locations across the country, from grocery stores to doctors’ offices, to get the prices of about 80,000 different items every month. That data helps BLS compile the Consumer Price Index, which measures the average change over time in prices consumers pay for a market basket of goods and services. It is the key measure of consumer inflation in the U.S. economy..."

Consumer Price Index

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