Shadow Government Statistics
Analysis Behind and Beyond Government Economic Reporting
Alternate Inflation Charts
The CPI chart on the home page reflects our estimate of inflation for today as if it were calculated the same way it was in 1990. The CPI on the Alternate Data Series tab here reflects the CPI as if it were calculated using the methodologies in place in 1980. In general terms, methodological shifts in government reporting have depressed reported inflation, moving the concept of the CPI away from being a measure of the cost of living needed to maintain a constant standard of living.
CPI Year-to-Year Growth
The CPI-U (consumer price index) is the broadest measure of consumer price inflation for goods and services published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
While the headline number usually is the seasonally-adjusted month-to-month change, the formal CPI is reported on a not-seasonally-adjusted basis, with annual inflation measured in terms of year-to-year percent change in the price index.
In the charts to the right we show two SGS-Alternate CPI estimates: One based on the pre-1990 official methodology for computing the CPI-U, and the other based on the methodology which was employed prior to 1980.
Please note: Our Data Download is currently only providing the 1980-Based numbers, but 1990-Based numbers will be introduced shortly.
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