Geared to a Main Street audience, this e-newsletter will provide a sampling of the latest speeches, research, podcasts, videos, lesson plans and much more. Sign up now to have this emailed to you monthly at no charge.View Publication
|Growth Rate—Real Gross Domestic Product||4.7%||2.1%||3.8%||NA|
|Inflation Rate—Consumer Price Index||3.4%||2.7%||3.3%||2.4%|
|Civilian Unemployment Rate||5.4%||5.3%||5.3%||5.3%|
Every few years the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a Consumer Expenditure Survey to see what the typical urban family buys, and compiles a list of goods and services. The CPI is a weighted average—goods such as salt and toothpicks on which people spend small fractions of their income receive less weight on the average than goods like housing and energy on which people spend a larger percentage. Then each month the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) visits thousands of stores to check the prices of approximately 90,000 items.
To estimate how fast prices will double, apply the Rule of 72 by dividing 72 by the rate of inflation. For example, if our economy experiences a 6 percent annual inflation rate, prices for cars, houses, and other goods and other services you buy would double every 12 years (72÷6). On the other hand, if the inflation rate is 3 percent, prices would double every 24 years (72÷3).
Keep up with what’s new and noteworthy at the St. Louis Fed. Sign up now to have this free monthly e-newsletter emailed to you.
Fed in Print: An index of the economic research conducted by the Fed.