A new experimental consumer price index
June 28, 2006
BLS has introduced an experimental consumer price index for the U.S. that follows, to the extent possible, the methods of the Harmonized Index of Consumer Prices (HICP), which is the European Union's official price index.
The U.S. HICP differs from the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) in two major respects. First, the HICP includes the rural population in its scope. Second, and probably more importantly, the HICP excludes owner-occupied housing, in part because the methods for measuring price changes for owner-occupied housing are controversial in theory and difficult to achieve consensus on in practice.
To construct the experimental U.S. HICP, the CPI first was expanded to cover the entire (noninstitutional) U.S. population and then was narrowed to remove the owner-occupied housing costs that the HICP excludes from its scope.
The chart compares a specially constructed measure of U.S. inflation that covers both rural and urban areas (CPI-XT) with a new experimental measure, the U.S. HICP. The measures are relatively similar in the period shown, which may reflect the fact that the period was one of comparatively mild inflation.
These data are from the BLS Consumer Price Index program. To learn more, see "Comparing U.S. and European inflation: the CPI and the HICP," by Walter Lane and Mary Lynn Schmidt, Monthly Labor Review, May 2006. Percent changes in chart are December to December.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, A new experimental consumer price index on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2006/jun/wk4/art03.htm (visited May 05, 2016).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
Employment and Wages in Healthcare Occupations
Healthcare occupations are a significant percentage of U.S. employment. Some of the largest and highest paying occupations are in healthcare. This Spotlight examines employment and wages for healthcare occupations.
Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.
- A look at pay at the top, the bottom, and in between
The Spotlight examines how earnings and wages have changed over time and how they differ within a geographic area, industry, or occupation.