Definition of CPI - Consumer Price Index

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The CPI or Consumer Price Index is a measure of the cost of goods purchased by average U.S. household. It is calculated by the U.S. government's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As a pure measure of inflation, the CPI has some flaws:
1) new product bias (new products are not counted for a while after the appear)
2) discount store bias (consumers who care won't pay full price)
3) substitution bias (variations in price can cause consumers to respond by substituting on the spot, but the basic measure holds their consumption of various goods constant)
4) quality bias (product improvements are under-counted)
5) formula bias (overweighting of sale items in sample rotation).(Econterms)

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