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An Evaluation of Core Inflation Measures


  • Jamie Armour


The author provides a statistical evaluation of various measures of core inflation for Canada. The criteria used to evaluate the measures are lack of bias, low variability relative to total CPI inflation, and ability to forecast actual and trend total CPI inflation. The author uses the same methodology as Hogan, Johnson, and Laflèche (2001) and thus provides updated empirical results. The findings are that most traditional measures of core inflation are unbiased and all continue to be less volatile than total inflation. They nevertheless display some volatility and have limited predictive ability. Overall, CPIW seems to have a slight advantage over the other measures, but the differences across measures are not large. (CPIW uses all components of total CPI but adjusts the weight of each component by a factor that is inversely proportional to the component's variability.) Compared with the results of Hogan, Johnson, and Laflèche, CPIW's relative performance has improved. The distribution of price changes for 54 CPI subcomponents is also examined, and substantial increases in both the skewness and kurtosis of this distribution since 1998 are found.

Suggested Citation

  • Jamie Armour, 2006. "An Evaluation of Core Inflation Measures," Staff Working Papers 06-10, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:06-10

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    Cited by:

    1. Sarantitis, Georgios & Papadimitriou, Theophilos & Gogas, Periklis, 2015. "A Network Analysis of the United Kingdom’s Consumer Price Index," DUTH Research Papers in Economics 1-2016, Democritus University of Thrace, Department of Economics.
    2. Oguz Atuk & Mustafa Utku Ozmen, 2009. "Design and Evaluation of Core Inflation Measures for Turkey," Working Papers 0903, Research and Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey.
    3. repec:kap:compec:v:51:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s10614-016-9625-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Baqaee, David, 2010. "Using wavelets to measure core inflation: The case of New Zealand," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 241-255, December.
    5. Kevin Clinton, 2006. "Core inflation at the Bank of Canada: A critique," Working Papers 1077, Queen's University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    Inflation and prices;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation

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