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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Consumer Price Index—July 2011

Over at Wikipedia the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is described thusly:
A consumer price index (CPI) measures changes in the price level of consumer goods and services purchased by households. The CPI is defined by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics as "a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services."
There is some talk that the CPI is not a reliable index and has not been for the last three decades or so.  Here is an interesting critique of the CPI.

Be that as it may, here is a Press Release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, saying the CPI for June was down 0.2%.  That is to say, it was cheaper to live in June than in May.
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) decreased 0.2 percent in June on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.  Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 3.6 percent before seasonal adjustment.
Here is a very rough breakdown of the main categories:
The 12 month change in the all items index remained at 3.6 percent.  The change in the index for all items less food and energy edged up to 1.6 percent, its highest level since January 2010.  The food index has increased 3.7 percent over the last 12 months while the energy index rose 20.1 percent.
I was going to write that I am not sure I noticed, but in fact, I have noted the change in energy prices (especially at the gas pump) and I am aware that food prices are going up, both locally and globally.  I am not sure biofuel was such a good idea, at least not in terms of growing food to put in some fuel tank, like corn to ethanol.

UPDATE:  First Comment is in (and it is smack on) and I realize I have the title wrong.  Corrected from PPI to CPI.

Regards  —  Cliff

1 comment:

kad barma said...

Typical of a Japanese-style recession where interest rates go effectively towards zero, prices continue to drop, and those with jobs do ok, while those without are screwed.