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PCE and CPI inflation differentials: converting inflation forecasts


  • Craig S. Hakkio


The Federal Reserve recently announced it will begin to release quarterly inflation forecasts based on the Personal Consumption Expenditure Price Index. As Chairman Bernanke said, the PCE index is generally thought to be ?the single most comprehensive and theoretically compelling measure of consumer prices.? At the same time, Bernanke said that ?no single measure of inflation is perfect, and the Committee will continue to monitor a range of measures when forming its view about inflation prospects,? including the Consumer Price Index. ; The public and private sectors alike will want to be able to convert CPI inflation forecasts released by various organizations to PCE inflation forecasts, and vice versa. But the inflation differentials for the two measures can change significantly over time. To convert between CPI and PCE inflation projections, economists must construct statistical models to explain and predict the inflation differentials (overall and core), recognizing that the differentials may change over time. ; Hakkio estimates a set of models that analysts can use to make such conversions.

Suggested Citation

  • Craig S. Hakkio, 2008. "PCE and CPI inflation differentials: converting inflation forecasts," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, vol. 93(Q I), pages 51-68.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedker:y:2008:i:qi:p:51-68:n:v.93no.1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Todd E. Clark & Michael W. McCracken, 2009. "Improving Forecast Accuracy By Combining Recursive And Rolling Forecasts," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 50(2), pages 363-395, May.
    2. Cogley, Timothy, 2002. "A Simple Adaptive Measure of Core Inflation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(1), pages 94-113, February.
    3. Todd E. Clark, 1999. "A comparison of the CPI and the PCE price index," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, vol. 84(Q III), pages 15-29.
    4. Clinton P. McCully & Brian C. Moyer & Kenneth J. Stewart, 2007. "A Reconciliation between the Consumer Price Index and the Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index," BEA Papers 0079, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mugera, Amin W. & Langemeier, Michael R. & Featherstone, Allen M., 2012. "Labor Productivity Growth in the Kansas Farm Sector: A Tripartite Decomposition Using a Non-Parametric Approach," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(3), pages 298-312, December.
    2. Carola Binder & Wesley Janson & Randal Verbrugge, 2020. "The CPI–PCEPI Inflation Differential: Causes and Prospects," Economic Commentary, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, vol. 2020(06), pages 1-8, March.

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