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More prices that deviate from the CPI


We recently discussed some CPI categories that do not tend to have rising prices. Those examples were all linked to information technology. Here’s a wide variety of categories where prices can decrease or remain stable for long periods. For example, coffee is subject to wide fluctuations, including steep price drops. Apparel became disconnected from the CPI sometime in the early 1990s and remains largely constant. It is more surprising that cosmetics and musical instruments are also consistently below general inflation or even flat. In the motor vehicles category, some quality improvements only partially affect the overall price of motor vehicles; this is another example, much like computers, of a category that does not closely follow the overall path of the CPI.

How this graph was created: Start with the graph for the CPI, then add the other series. Change the color of the CPI line to black and thicken it to distinguish it from the many other series.

Suggested by Christian Zimmermann

View on FRED, series used in this post: CPIAPPSL, CPIAUCSL, CUSR0000SERE03, CUUR0000SEFP01, CUUR0000SEGB02, CUUR0000SETA01


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