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December 1993, Vol. 116, No. 12

The Consumer Price Index: underlying concepts and caveats

Dennis Fixler
Economist, Division of Price and Index Number Research, Bureau of Labor Statistics

To properly use the Consumer Price Index, one must understand its relationship to an ideal cost-of-living index and the problems of implementation. This article reviews how the theory of the cost-of-living index (CLI) provides the conceptual foundation for the CPI and the caveats governing the use of the CPI as an approximation for a CLI.

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Consumer Price Index
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