PAY & BENEFITS • Jul 2015 • Volume 4 / Number 11
Features can vary among employer-sponsored savings and thrift plans. For example, some plans let employees take out loans from their accounts, and others do not.Read full article » | Download PDF
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is widely used as a cost-of-living indicator. In some cases, its use is mandated by relevant statutes; in other cases, its use is a matter of contractual agreement or practice. For example, Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments are adjusted each year by an amount equal to the change in the CPI. Other payments adjusted by the CPI include federal tax brackets, rents, alimony payments, child support payments, and wages.
Throughout the first half of 2014, import petroleum prices rose 10.7 percent following a near 2-year low at the end of 2013. The 6-month advance returned import prices to levels last seen at the beginning of 2012. The second half of 2014 was a much different story. Beginning in July, prices began to fall, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) import crude petroleum index dropping 51.7 percent between June 2014 and January 2015. A confluence of factors exerted downward pressure on petroleum prices, leading to the most dramatic drop in petroleum prices since the sharp drop in prices at the end of 2008. This issue of Beyond the Numbers examines the price trends in import petroleum prices leading up to the plunge in prices in 2014. The article uses data from the BLS International Prices Program (IPP) and Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Gasoline prices experience volatility often credited to fluctuations in the crude oil market, but gasoline is subject to its own supply and demand pressures. Cyclical trends contribute to gasoline price movements over a typical year, and recent market developments have affected prices. This Beyond the Numbers article examines the many factors that contributed to shifting producer gasoline prices from 2005 through 2014.