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The article also sheds light on the flaws of using CPI solely to measure inflation. For instance, CPI measures prices of products across the board under the assumption that consumers buy the same amount of each product every month. Ice cream for example might become more popular in the summer months when the weather is nicer, thus increasing the demand for ice-cream and creating some inconsistency in quantity of ice-cream purchased throughout the year. Of course due to substitution bias, as the price of say bacon rises the next month, consumers might decide to switch to vegan bacon, the cheaper alternative. Therefore, the price of bacon that consumers actually buy will rise less than the recorded CPI amount. Of course CPI also does not take into the account the increase in quality in addition. In the past few years there has been a push for grass fed cow meat and dairy products as well as free range animal products. These products are significantly more expensive since it costs more to feed cows grass over grain or to let pigs roam free rather than to keep them systematically housed. Therefore, the cost of meat and dairy products in particular have undergone drastic increase in prices not just due to inflation but also largely due to increase in quality. Because there are always flaws such as these in using CPI to calculate inflation, it is necessary to take into account other methods such as PPI which measures change in price from the producer side.
However the Consumer Price Index is still one of the most well recognized and utilized pieces of data since the general movement in price among thousands of good and services is extremely important to not regardless if inflation is truly the main factor at play or not. Consumer price index is widely referred to by economists around the world as well as policy makers whom make impactful decisions based on the data.
“Why Ice Cream is more Important Than Bacon When Tracking Inflation” by Sarah Chaney, published on April 17th 2017 essentially explains more in depth how CPI really measures inflation. According to Chaney, to explain how critical inflation measure is calculated, the Labor Department in a blog post used bacon and ice cream rather than just an abstract culmination of goods. Of course, the consumer price index contains multiple sub-indexes that cover thousands of goods and services, however it can be confusing to understand inflation when trying the gauge the rise in price of all these goods, so instead, just focusing on two goods can show what the consumer price index is actually measuring (ice-cream and bacon)
According to the article, although CPI can measure services like funeral services to dental exams, the graph depicted reveals simplistically how CPI is measured. In the graph, Bacon swings wildly from over a 20 percent increase in price to a 15 percent drop in price while at the same time the price of ice-cream swings in a less volatile manor and much of the time in the opposite direction. The article then goes on to explain that this is the very reason why the CPI accounts for so many different items over such a broad range of industries. It is also explained how the importance of those individual changes depends on how much people spend on those items. Therefore, since people spent more on ice-cream than bacon this past year, ice-cream carried a greater weight than bacon when tracking inflation on CPI. Because of this, it is emphasized in the article that sudden changes in consumer demand is largely accounted for in when measuring inflation.
As discussed in class, inflation in the past few years has only been rising at about 2 percent. From a longer term historical perspective this is a relatively low rate of inflation. However, based on the graph in the article it is clear how crucially important it is to account for hundreds and hundreds of different items to come up with a true representation of price increase over time. For instance, based on the graph, in June 2011, if we were to take the price of bacon and ice-cream in those days and determine the CPI based on those two items it would be sky high since an average of 14.15 price change occurred between the two items.
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Hearing different opinions from different people from different backgrounds is generally A good rule of thumb to make it through life anyway. Don’t simply take one person’s word for it and expect that you will feel the same way about the products. You don’t really know this person nor do you know their experience with the product. It is extremely important that you have a ride in pit of penance. This is especially true depending on how big the item you’re looking for is.
If you’re going about purchasing an item that is over $100 it is recommended that you’ve look at at least 5 reviews before you make the initial decision to purchase . one tip is to look at Amazon reviews of product. There is a plethora of opinions that you can find on Amazon on just about every single product on the market. By scrolling through the Amazon reviews and clicking on the ones that gave the photic Five Stars versus the ones that gave the product 1 * you can get a variety of different opinions that can lead me to make more informed buying decision.
Another way is to look for review sites such as toptenreviews. For instance or Consumer Reports. For any household items that you might find weather be dishwashers laundry machines lawn mowers or anything else that you might need for your house you can find anything in consumer reports . the last way to do so is by finding people that have actually fit purchase the product in person.
It’s the product is very expensive and not many people purchase it to begin with it’s always good to cold call people of purchase the product before that you might know and ask them personally what you think of the product. This can be kind of difficult if you don’t know anyone that owns the product however if you do this is the best resource you can find out there for determining the worth of a product.