Rising food prices make it harder for families on assistance programs to get by

Aug 12, 2020
With the pandemic, there are now 43 million people signed up for food assistance through SNAP.
One food bank network director says that even during good times, "the SNAP subsidy is often not sufficient."
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

What's disinflation, and why does it matter?

Jul 30, 2020
Slowing inflation isn't as dangerous as prices dropping for a long period of time. But it's important to keep disinflation in check.
The menu of a ramen restaurant, for instance, can illustrate inflation, disinflation or deflation.
Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Falling producer price index fans fears of deflation

May 13, 2020
Prices of many goods are dropping as demand slows and people stay at home more. But does this mean deflation is here to stay?
A warehouse in China. Producer prices have softened as economic activity has slowed.
Wang He/Getty Images

Does measuring inflation matter during a pandemic?

May 12, 2020
How prices of many basic goods and services change usually tells us a lot about where the economy is headed.
A gas station in Los Angeles in March. CPI data shows gas prices fell more than 20% last month.
Chris Delmas/AFP via Getty Images

4 ways to measure inflation

Sep 23, 2019
What are we talking about when we talk about inflation?
You don't need a complicated math problem to measure inflation; the CPI and PCE will do.
Three Lions/Getty Images

Why China wants to stock more than 200,000 tons of pork

May 30, 2019
Some countries stockpile grain and petroleum. China has both, plus a national pork reserve.
A local meat market in Shanghai is dominated by pork stands. Pork is a staple in the Chinese diet and accounts for 70% of all meat consumed in China.
Charles Zhang/Marketplace

Measuring inflation isn't easy

Apr 10, 2019
Month-to-month price fluctuations make it difficult for the Bureau of Labor Statistics to measure inflation accurately.
Shoppers line up to check out at a Target store in 2008 in Miami.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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A strong economy with low inflation? Inequality may be to blame.

Mar 12, 2019
New inflation numbers out today showed … very little of it. The consumer price index ticked up 0.2 percent in February. It was the first rise in four months. And year over year, the measure of how expensive it is to buy a fixed basket of goods is up just 1.5 percent. And that’s weird, […]
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Tight jobs lead to higher rents, which lead to core inflation increase

by
Dec 13, 2018
The Consumer Price Index, if you take out food and energy, showed prices rising slightly. It climbed 0.2 percent, so year-over-year prices have climbed 2.2 percent. One of the reasons for the price hikes in November was rent. And you might not be happy to hear it, but it could well be another sign of […]

Here's how the Federal Reserve determines the inflation rate

Oct 11, 2018
The Consumer Price Index tracks the average price change over time for a “basket”  of goods and services. The CPI takes into account things like food, transportation and health care. If the CPI goes up, that’s considered an indication that the inflation rate is rising. But when the Federal Reserve calculates the inflation rate, it […]
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