CONSUMER PRICE INDEX
Release Date: Monthly
Release Coverage: Month
Released By: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Official Release (daily): http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm
The consumer price index (CPI) is a measure of the average change in prices over time of goods and services purchased by households. The CPI is based on prices of food, clothing, shelter, fuels, transportation fares, and charges for doctors' and dentists' services, drugs, and other goods and services that people buy for day-to-day living. Prices are collected in 87 urban areas across the country from about 50,000 housing units and approximately 23,000 retail establishments-department stores, supermarkets, hospitals, filling stations, and other types of stores and service establishments.
WHAT DR. ED SAYS:
This index is useful to monitor inflationary concerns and can be used for regional inflationary comparisons. The consumer price index can be monitored by pulling up the Economic Chart. CPI is sometimes referred to as cost-of-living adjustment, can serve as a benchmark for wages and overall prices. As the rate of inflation changes and as expectations on inflation change, the markets generally reflect these changes immediately. Steady growth in the price index is expected, and generally a 2% growth is considered healthy.