10 Things to be Aware of If You’re Worried About Inflation


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Understanding the Big Picture

1. How inflation is calculated: the Consumer Price Index
2. What’s affecting inflation right now?
3. The Fed’s Role in Addressing Inflation
4. The Fed’s Magic Number: 2%
5. Other Numbers to Watch

Know Your Options

6. Gold: the classic hedging option
7. Treasury Inflation-Protected Stocks (TIPS)
8. Real Estate
9. Growth and Value Stocks
10. Energy Commodities

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1. How inflation is calculated: the Consumer Price Index

Fundamentals to understanding inflation

Every month, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) releases information on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is a measure on the average change in price of a basket of goods and services that an average person living in an American city might buy. The basket of goods and services is intended to give a very generalized picture of price levels and the purchasing power of the average American living in an urban area.

When looking at information about the CPI, it is important to take into account the time period of the change (month, year), whether or not something has been seasonally adjusted, and the demographic covered. The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers: All Items ("CPIAUCSL") is considered the standard indicator measured, and is usually what is referenced by the shorthand "CPI".

10 things

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