IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

A comparison of measures of core inflation

  • Robert Rich
  • Charles Steindel

The ability of central banks to differentiate between permanent and transitory price movements is critical for the conduct of monetary policy. The importance of gauging the persistence of price changes in a timely manner has led to the development of measures of underlying, or “core,” inflation that are designed to remove transitory price changes from aggregate inflation data. Given the usefulness of this information to policymakers, there is a surprising lack of consensus on a preferred measure of U.S. core inflation. This article examines several proposed measures of core inflation—the popular ex food and energy series, an ex energy series, a weighted median series, and an exponentially smoothed series—to identify a “best” measure. The authors evaluate the measures’ performance according to criteria such as ease of design and accuracy in tracking trend inflation, as well as explanatory content for within-sample and out-of-sample movements in aggregate CPI and PCE inflation. The study reveals that the candidate series perform very differently across aggregate inflation measures, criteria, and sample periods. The authors therefore find no compelling evidence to focus on one particular measure of core inflation, including the series that excludes food and energy prices. They attribute their results to the design of the individual measures and the measures’ inability to account for variability in the nature and sources of transitory price movements.

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.newyorkfed.org/research/epr/07v13n3/0712rich.html
Download Restriction: no

File URL: http://www.newyorkfed.org/research/epr/07v13n3/0712rich.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its journal Economic Policy Review.

Volume (Year): (2007)
Issue (Month): Dec ()
Pages: 19-38

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:fip:fednep:y:2007:i:dec:p:19-38:n:v.13no.3
Contact details of provider: Postal: 33 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10045-0001
Web page: http://www.newyorkfed.org/
Email:


More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web: http://www.ny.frb.org/rmaghome/staff_rp/ Email:


References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Diego Comin & Mark Gertler, 2003. "Medium Term Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 10003, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1999. "Measuring Business Cycles: Approximate Band-Pass Filters For Economic Time Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 575-593, November.
  3. Francis X. Diebold & Robert S. Mariano, 1994. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," NBER Technical Working Papers 0169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Michael Dotsey & Thomas Stark, 2005. "The relationship between capacity utilization and inflation," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q2, pages 8-17.
  5. 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.
  6. Jim Dolmas, 2005. "Trimmed mean PCE inflation," Working Papers 0506, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  7. Alan S. Blinder & Ricardo Reis, 2005. "Understanding the Greenspan standard," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Aug, pages 11-96.
  8. Robert J. Gordon, 1975. "Alternative Responses of Policy to External Supply Shocks," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 6(1), pages 183-206.
  9. Smith, Julie K, 2004. "Weighted Median Inflation: Is This Core Inflation?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(2), pages 253-63, April.
  10. Ghysels, E. & Guay, A. & Hall, A., 1995. "Predictive Tests for Structural Change with Unknown Breakpoint," Cahiers de recherche 9524, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  11. Todd E. Clark, 2001. "Comparing measures of core inflation," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q II, pages 5-31.
  12. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Rita S. Chu & Charles Steindel, 2000. "The unreliability of inflation indicators," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 6(Apr).
  13. Benigno, Pierpaolo, 2001. "Optimal Monetary Policy in a Currency Area," CEPR Discussion Papers 2755, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. N. Neil K. Khettry & Loretta J. Mester, 2006. "Core inflation as a predictor of total inflation," Research Rap Special Report, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Apr.
  15. Carlos Robalo Marques & Pedro Duarte Neves & Luís Morais Sarmento, 2000. "Evaluating Core Inflation Indicators," Working Papers w200003, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  16. Hogan, Seamus & Marianne Johnson & Thérèse Laflèche, 2001. "Core Inflation," Technical Reports 89, Bank of Canada.
  17. Aoki, Kosuke, 2001. "Optimal monetary policy responses to relative-price changes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 55-80, August.
  18. Joanne Cutler, 2001. "Core Inflation in the UK," Discussion Papers 03, Monetary Policy Committee Unit, Bank of England.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fednep:y:2007:i:dec:p:19-38:n:v.13no.3. 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: (Amy Farber)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.