How do you measure inflation? (Indicator favorite) : Planet Money : The Indicator from Planet Money It's Encore Week at The Indicator! We're sharing some of our favorite episodes of 2021.

Today, we hear one of Stacey's favorite episodes from this year. It's a deep dive into how the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates a key economic indicator, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the most widely used measure of inflation.

This episode originally came out in July.

How do you measure inflation? (Indicator favorite)

How do you measure inflation? (Indicator favorite)

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Heritage Images/Heritage Images via Getty Images
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Heritage Images/Heritage Images via Getty Images

It's Encore Week at The Indicator! We're sharing some of our favorite episodes of 2021. Today, we hear one of Stacey's favorite episodes from this year. It's a deep dive into how the Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates a key economic indicator, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the most widely used measure of inflation. (This episode originally came out in July.)


The Bureau of Labor Statistics updates the Consumer Price Index each month. And today, we go behind the scenes and look at how the numbers are collected and calculated.

Emily Mascitis is an economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. She and hundreds of people at the Department of Labor work hard to keep tabs on the price of everything consumers buy or rent. Collecting the data takes years of regular in-person visits, phone calls, and online searches. Sometimes Emily needs to double or triple check the price of a specific item, but such due diligence is essential. After all, policy makers, companies, and everyday people make numerous decisions based on the CPI.

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