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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Fed Up with BLS and its CPI BS ?


Like, say the Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest Consumer Price Index Summary ?
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.4 percent in February on a seasonally adjusted basis, the U.S.  Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months,  the all items index increased 2.9 percent before seasonal adjustment.
Then check out the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER), and its EPI (Everyday Price Index).
The Everyday Price Index increased 1.3 percent in January 2012 and another 1.1 percent in February. During 12 months ending in February, it increased 4.9 percent. This is somewhat slower than the increase over the same time last year. During 12 months ending in February 2011, the EPI increased 6 percent. All numbers are before seasonal adjustments.
The EPI, a new proprietary index developed by the American Institute for Economic Research, reflects prices of goods and services people tend to buy frequently such as food, utilities, and fuel. It stands in contrast to the more widely known Consumer Price Index, which is issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and includes a comprehensive set of prices of all consumer products and services, including big-ticket items such as cars, appliances, and housing.
The recent increase in the EPI is driven primarily by increases in the cost of motor fuel. Motor fuel prices increased 3.5 percent in January and another 4.8 percent in February.
Another category of goods that posted consistent and substantial increases is prescription drugs. Prices went up 0.9 percent in January and 1.1 percent in February.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, personal care products and services, which include items such as toothpaste and haircuts, hardy increased in price at all: 0.1 percent in January and no change in February.
For the AIER's more detailed analysis, 'The EPI Reflects Basic Economic Change', click here.