Actual CPI-U Basket of Goods | Summary and Q&A

February 14, 2012
Khan Academy
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Actual CPI-U Basket of Goods


The video explores the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the basket of goods used to calculate it.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is the purpose of the Consumer Price Index?

The Consumer Price Index is used to measure changes in the average price level of goods and services purchased by urban consumers, providing valuable information for economic analysis and policy-making.

Q: How are the weights assigned to each expenditure category in the basket of goods determined?

The weights are determined based on surveys and data collection, reflecting the percentage of income that urban consumers spend on each category. These weights are periodically updated to ensure accuracy.

Q: Why is it important to consider different base years when analyzing price changes?

Using different base years allows for comparisons across different time periods. It helps to understand how much prices have changed relative to a specific time period, providing insights into inflation and purchasing power.

Q: How are changes in prices calculated for different goods and services in the CPI?

Changes in prices are calculated by comparing the price index for a specific month or year to the index for the previous month or year. This gives the percentage change in prices over time.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The video discusses the table from a press release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which provides the CPI for urban consumers.

  • The table breaks down the expenditure categories and commodity groups, showing the percentage spent on each.

  • The video highlights the changing prices of different goods and services over time, comparing them to the base year.

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