Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

A Reconciliation between the Consumer Price Index and the Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index

Contents:

Author Info

  • Clinton P. McCully
  • Brian C. Moyer
  • Kenneth J. Stewart

    (Bureau of Economic Analysis)

Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) prepares the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), and the Bureau of Economic Analysis prepares the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) chain-type price index. Both indexes measure the prices paid by consumers for goods and services. Because the two indexes are based on different underlying concepts, they are constructed differently, and tend to behave differently over time. From the first quarter of 2002 through the second quarter of 2007, the CPI-U increased 0.4 percentage point per year faster than the PCE price index. This paper details and quantifies the differences in growth rates between the CPI-U and the PCE price index; it provides a quarterly reconciliation of growth rates for the 2002:Q1- 2007:Q2 time period. There are several factors that explain the differences in growth rates between the CPI and the PCE price index. First, the indexes are based on difference index-number formulas. The CPI-U is based on a Laspeyres index; the PCE price index is based on a Fisher-Ideal index. Second, the relative weights assigned to the detailed item prices in each index are different because they are based on different data sources. The weights used in the CPIU are based on a household survey, while the weights used in the PCE price index are based on business surveys. Third, there are scope differences between the two indexes— that is, there are items in the CPI-U that are out-of-scope of the PCE price index, and there are items in the PCE price index that are out-of-scope of the CPI-U. And finally, there are differences in the seasonal-adjustment routines and in the detailed price indexes used to construct the two indexes. Over the 2002:Q1-2007:Q2 time period, this analysis finds that almost half of the 0.4 percentage point difference in growth rates between the CPI-U and the PCE price index was explained by differences in index-number formulas. After adjusting for formula differences, differences in relative weights—primarily “rent of shelter”—more than accounted for the remaining difference in growth rates. Net scope differences, in contrast, partly offset the effect of relative weight differences.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.bea.gov/papers/pdf/cpi_pce.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Bureau of Economic Analysis in its series BEA Papers with number 0079.

    as in new window
    Length:
    Date of creation: Sep 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:bea:papers:0079

    Contact details of provider:
    Phone: 202-482-4883
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.bea.gov/research/index.htm
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords:

    Find related papers by JEL classification:

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Stefano Eusepi & Bart Hobijn & Andrea Tambalotti, 2011. "CONDI: A Cost-of-Nominal-Distortions Index," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 53-91, July.
    2. Nicholas Oulton, 2012. "Hooray for GDP!," CEP Occasional Papers 30, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    3. Caitlin Blair, 2013. "Constructing a PCE-Weighted Consumer Price Index," NBER Working Papers 19582, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Craig S. Hakkio, 2008. "PCE and CPI inflation differentials: converting inflation forecasts," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q I, pages 51-68.

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bea:papers:0079. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Elizabeth Bernstein).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.