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Indicators of the general price level and inflation


  • Zsolt Becsi


This article examines whether price indexes, such as the CPI, the PPI, and the implicit price deflator for GDP (PGDP), tell a consistent story about the general price level and inflation rate. To this end, Zsolt Becsi analyzes the time series properties of these indexes. He finds that the PGDP has a stable long-term relationship with both of the other price indexes. Some evidence suggests that PGDP and CPI inflation have common long-run trends, while PPI inflation has no discernible stable long-run relationship with either PGDP or CPI inflation. ; Some theories suggest that the price level relevant for monetary policy is broader than price indexes of final goods and services such as the PGDP. This article investigates whether the PGDP captures movements in other price or inflation series. There is weak evidence that the PGDP shares common trends with the price levels and inflation rates of some intermediate goods and assets. Overall, these results suggest that PGDP makes a good indicator of the general price level for monetary policy because it reflects shocks to a broad range of other series.

Suggested Citation

  • Zsolt Becsi, 1994. "Indicators of the general price level and inflation," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q IV, pages 27-39.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedder:y:1994:i:qiv:p:27-39

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John Y. Campbell & Pierre Perron, 1991. "Pitfalls and Opportunities: What Macroeconomists Should Know About Unit Roots," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1991, Volume 6, pages 141-220 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Peter N. Ireland, 1993. "Price stability under long-run monetary targeting," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Win, pages 25-46.
    3. Kwiatkowski, Denis & Phillips, Peter C. B. & Schmidt, Peter & Shin, Yongcheol, 1992. "Testing the null hypothesis of stationarity against the alternative of a unit root : How sure are we that economic time series have a unit root?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1-3), pages 159-178.
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    6. Cochrane, John H, 1988. "How Big Is the Random Walk in GNP?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 893-920, October.
    7. Michael F. Bryan & Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1994. "Measuring Core Inflation," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy, pages 195-219 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Schwert, G. William, 1987. "Effects of model specification on tests for unit roots in macroeconomic data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 73-103, July.
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    10. Santoni, G J & Moehring, H Brian, 1994. "Asset Returns and Measured Inflation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 26(2), pages 232-248, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Claus, I., 1997. "A Measure of Underlying Inflation in the United States," Staff Working Papers 97-20, Bank of Canada.
    2. Wynne, Mark A., 2008. "How should central banks define price stability?," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 08, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

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    Inflation (Finance) ; Prices;


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