Q:

What is the purpose of the U.S. inflation index chart?

A:

Quick Answer

The U.S. historical inflation chart displays monthly and annual inflation rates from 1914 to 2015. The inflation rate reflects the change in the cost of goods and services across the economy, and Federal Reserve policymakers use this information to evaluate changes in inflation over months or years.

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Full Answer

Inflation decreases the purchasing power of money and increases the prices of goods and services. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics calculates the inflation rate using the Consumer Price Index and publishes results monthly. The Department of Commerce measures inflation among personal consumption expenditures, which reflect household spending. Policymakers exclude items with dramatic increases or decreases in price, such as energy and food, when evaluating inflation levels.

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