Measuring Short-Run Inflation for Central Bankers
As central bankers intensify their focus on inflation as the primary goal of monetary policy, it becomes increasingly important to have accurate and reliable measures of changes in the aggregate price level. Measuring inflation is surprisingly difficult, involving two types of problems. Commonly used indices, such as the Consumer Price Index (CPI), contain both transitory noise and bias. Noise causes short-run changes in measured inflation to inaccurately reflect movements in long-run trends, while bias leads the long-run average change in the CPI to be too high. In this paper I propose methods of reducing both the noise and the bias in the CPI. Noise reduction is achieved by average monthly inflation in measures called trimmed means' over longer horizons. Trimmed means are statistics similar to the median that are calculated by ignoring the CPI components with extreme high and low changes each month, and averaging the rest. I find that using three month averages halves the noise, while removing the highest and lowest ten percent of the cross-sectional distribution of inflation reduces the monthly variation in inflation by one-fifth.
|Date of creation:||Oct 1996|
|Publication status:||published as Cecchetti, Stephen G. "Measuring Short-Run Inflation For Central Bankers," FRB Saint Louis - Review, 1997, v79(3,May/Jun), 143-155.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Michael F. Bryan & Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1993.
"The Consumer Price Index as a Measure of Inflation,"
NBER Working Papers
4505, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Michael F. Bryan & Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1993. "The consumer price index as a measure of inflation," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q IV, pages 15-24.
- Gordon, Robert J, 1992.
"Measuring the Aggregate Price Level: Implications for Economic Performance and Policy,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
663, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Robert J. Gordon, 1992. "Measuring the Aggregate Price Level: Implications For Economic Performance and Policy," NBER Working Papers 3969, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Wynne, Mark A & Sigalla, Fiona D, 1996.
" A Survey of Measurement Biases in Price Indexes,"
Journal of Economic Surveys,
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 55-89, March.
- Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1993.
"Relative-price changes as aggregate supply shocks,"
93-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
- Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1992. "Relative-Price Changes as Aggregate Supply Shocks," NBER Working Papers 4168, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ball, L. & Mankiw, G.H., 1992. "Relative-Price Change as Aggregate Supply Shocks," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1609, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Stephen G. Cecchetti & Anil K Kashyap & David W. Wilcox, 1995. "Do Firms Smooth the Seasonal in Production in a Boom? Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5011, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David E. Lebow & John M. Roberts & David J. Stockton, 1992. "Economic performance under price stability," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 125, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Bell, William R & Hillmer, Steven C, 1984. "Issues Involved with the Seasonal Adjustment of Economic Time Series," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 2(4), pages 291-320, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5786. 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: ()
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.