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December 1996

Changing the item structure of the Consumer Price Index

Walter Lane

The changes in the 1998 CPI market basket will reflect and anticipate shifts in the consumer marketplace. This revision will result in more substantial changes to the item structure. Not only will there be new components for new goods and a reduction of the structure for less important ones, but a reorganization of sectors of the market basket such as "food away from home," "medical care," and "communications" will be undertaken to account for the modern views of these areas. This article summarizes the changes being made and their impact on the Consumer Price Index.

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