Consumer Price Index

Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) panel information and meeting schedule

Throughout the history of the CPI, there has been debate about the concepts the CPI should measure and whether it might overstate or understate changes in consumer living costs. The CPI has undergone methodological changes both in response to these discussions and to reflect the changing economic environment.

We continue to work on improvements in response to these developments and recently sponsored a National Academy of Sciences, Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT) panel to investigate three key methodological issues for the CPI:

  1. How should the BLS modify its current CPI methodology to construct its matrix of 7,000+ elementary item-area indexes with attention to specific challenges with: 1) methodology, 2) blending traditionally collected data with alternatively collected and sourced data, 3) new products, 4) new outlets, and 5) quality change?
  2. Should the BLS take explicit steps to mitigate upper-level substitution bias in the CPI-U and the CPI-W and if so how?
  3. What is the best method for estimating price change for health insurance, owner occupied housing, and durables?

Note: These are subject to change as the statement of work is updated.

CNSTAT will convene an expert panel and hold a workshop. Both the panel kickoff and the workshop will be open to the public and will be announced in advance on the BLS website. The panel will then spend about a year in internal discussions and preparing a written report for our consideration.

CNSTAT Panel Public Meetings

  1. May 27, 2020 @ 11:30-1:00

Additional information is available in the Commissioner’s Corner blog Improving the Accuracy of the Consumer Price Index.

Last Modified Date: May 20, 2020