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Consumer Price Index

Recent and upcoming methodology changes

Redesign of Recent and Upcoming Methodology Notices

January 2023 CPI weight update

Starting with January 2023 data, the BLS plans to update weights annually for the Consumer Price Index based on a single calendar year of data, using consumer expenditure data from 2021. This reflects a change from prior practice of updating weights biennially using two years of expenditure data. (posted May 24, 2022)

Changes to new vehicles source data and methodology

With the release of April 2022 data in May 2022, the CPI program replaced the data collected by the BLS for the new vehicles index with transaction data from J.D. Power. This index continues to include prices for cars and trucks, but no longer includes motorcycle prices. Two special relative series, new cars and new trucks, are now based on J.D. Power data. Publication of the combined new cars and trucks series has been discontinued at the same time. The full list of discontinued series is available online.

Seasonally adjusted indexes and calculated seasonal adjustment factors will continue to use BLS collected data, and will not take the new data source or methodology into account until the year 2023. Revised indexes and seasonal factors are available at Seasonal Adjustment in the CPI.

The Measuring Price Change in the CPI: Research new vehicle methodology factsheet has been updated to reflect these changes. Research and the methodology leading to these changes are described in detail in a working paper: “A New Vehicles Transaction Price Index: Offsetting the Effects of Price Discrimination and Product Cycle Bias with a Year-Over-Year Index.” (updated May 11, 2022)

Health insurance retained earnings source changes

Starting with April 2021 data, the health insurance index will stop using data from a national nonprofit health insurance carrier as part of its retained earnings calculation. Instead, the retained earnings will be calculated using data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and the California Department of Managed Healthcare only. (posted April 28, 2021)

Changes to gasoline source data

With the release of June 2021 data, the CPI replaced the data collected by the BLS in the gasoline (all types) index with data from a secondary source. In addition, special relative series and an average price for each type of gasoline are calculated and published monthly using this dataset.

Additional information is available on the Secondary source data for gasoline webpage. Research and the methodology leading to this data source replacement are described in detail in this conference paper: A Nontraditional Data Approach to the CPI Gasoline Index. (updated July 13, 2021)

Physicians’ services imputation changes

Upon further evaluation, we will not implement this change.

Starting with April 2021 data, the physicians’ services index will begin imputing missing prices by payer type in addition to the existing geography imputation. Quotes with a missing price will first attempt to impute off of prices of the same payer type in the same primary sampling unit (PSU), which will improve imputation accuracy when payer types experience different rates of inflation. The Measuring Price Change in the CPI: Medical care factsheet will be updated once this change takes effect. (updated June 17, 2021)

Changes to the CPI establishment frame

Starting in October 2019, the CPI Program plans to end the Telephone Point-of-Purchase Survey (TPOPS) and to obtain its retail establishment frame from the same household survey used to obtain the expenditure weights needed to calculate the index. This change to the Consumer Expenditure Surveys (CE) information will eliminate redundancies and inefficiencies in survey operations, and will result in lower household burden. The CE-Diary will be used as the source for most food and food away from home outlets, while the CE-Interview will be used for the bulk of CPI’s outlet frames. CPI plans to refine the location and address data reported in the CE by comparing the household reported data to establishments in the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages business registry. (posted May 6, 2019)

Reduced sample rotation for select items

Beginning with February 2019 sample selections, CPI implemented an adjustment in sample rotation methodology for the electricity, utility (piped) gas service, and hospital services indexes. The sample rotation for each of these items previously followed the standard 4-year cycle, whereby every area would have the sample refreshed every 4 years. The new sample rotation for each of these items now follows an extended cycle of every 8 years, whereby all areas will have their sample selected over 4 years, then the sample will remain in effect for 4 years, before rotating again. An article describing this change and reasoning is scheduled to be released in the summer of 2019. (posted March 1, 2019)

Health insurance

With the release of September 2018 data, CPI began using new sources to calculate the retained earnings ratio used to compute the commercial insurance portion of the health insurance index. The new sources are the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and the California Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC). Previously, the CPI used data from A.M. Best, a private source that provides information about and data related to the insurance industry. (posted November 23, 2018)

Telecommunications services

With the release of January 2019 data, standalone and bundled packages of residential telecommunications services, which comprise the indexes for land-line telephone services, internet services and electronic information providers, and cable and satellite television service, are quality adjusted to account for the rapid technological change in these services. Additional information on this process is available at Measuring Price Change in the CPI: Telecommunications services (updated January 15, 2019)

Average prices

With April 2018 data, BLS discontinued publication of 33 average price series and introduced 5 new average price series. See tables below for details. (posted February 14, 2018)

Physicians' services

With the release of April 2018 data, CPI began using the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey produced by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to adjust the weights of payer types included in the physicians’ services index. The resulting index better reflects current market weights by increasing the share of payments covered by private insurance relative to payments made by uninsured people and payments covered by Medicare Part B. Additional information on this process is available at Measuring Price Change in the CPI: Medical care (updated May 10, 2018)


With April 2018 data, directed substitution is employed for smartphones in order to bring the CPI sample of smartphones more in line with what consumers are purchasing. Directed substitution is based on statistics on how often consumers upgrade their smartphones and takes place approximately twice a year to coincide with new hardware releases from manufacturers. (posted March 7, 2018)

With January 2018 data, smartphones, which are part of the telephone hardware, calculators, and other consumer information items index, are quality adjusted to account for the rapid rate of technological advancements and improved quality to customers. Additional information on the process is available at Measuring Price Change in the CPI: Telephone hardware, calculators, and other consumer information items. (posted January 2, 2018)

Used cars and trucks

With January 2018 data, the Consumer Price Index for used cars and trucks has changed from a three-month moving average to a single month price change. This modification will result in an index that reflects price change closer to the reference period.Additional information on the process is available at Measuring Price Change in the CPI: Used cars and trucks(posted November 21, 2017)

Table 1. Discontinued average price series.
Item code Item label Last publication date


Salted soda crackers October 2000


USDA round roast July 2014


USDA short ribs, bone-in May 2011


USDA sirloin steak (1) June 2017


Canned ham, pear shaped can, 3-5 lbs. November 1992


Pork shoulder picnic, bone-in December 1997


Fresh pork sausage, breakfast style, loose September 2002


Beef liver January 2000


USDA lamb and mutton, bone-in January 1994


Whole fortified milk, sold at store, per half-gallon December 1997


Low-fat milk, sold at store, per half-gallon September 1992


Low-fat milk, sold at store, per gallon October 2002


Butter, creamy, salted, grade AA, stick, sold at store April 2012


Natural yogurt, fruit flavored, sold at store, per 8 oz. March 2003


Oranges, Valencia August 2013


Cabbage October 2012


Celery, excluding celery hearts October 2012


Carrots, short trimmed or topped March 2014


Dried onions, yellow varieties March 2014


Green onions (scallions) January 2000


Corn on the cob June 1988


Radishes June 1988


Cucumbers April 2000


Green snap beans January 2000


Mushrooms January 2000


Apple sauce December 1997


Canned peaches December 1997


Frozen French fried potatoes December 2004


Canned tomatoes December 1997


Margarine, stick May 2014


Cola drinks, except diet, cans, 10-13.5 oz., 6 pack February 1992


Coffee, instant plain, regular, all sizes, per lb. September 2003


Cola, nondiet, per 2 liters January 2000

(1) This series was not published October 2013 through May 2017.

Table 2. New average price series.
Item code Item label


All soft drinks, 2 liter


All soft drinks, 12 ounce, 12 pack


Milk, low-fat, reduced fat, skim, gallon container


Yogurt, per 8 ounce


Butter, in sticks, per pound

Last Modified Date: August 25, 2022