Comparing Central Banks

Perhaps we can divide the world between inflation fighters and recession fighters. Right now, most of the inflation fighters are in the developing world. In Brazil, Russia, India and China (the BRICs)…

Peanut Butter Prices

Let’s say that you saw the price of Skippy peanut butter, Tropicana orange juice, and Quaker oatmeal went up. Would you be concerned about inflation? In a recent paper, researchers from Yale and…

From China to Iowa

We can travel very quickly from China to Iowa. In an excellent report from The Economist on feeding the world, you can see how an increasingly affluent Chinese urban consumer affects many of us. One e…

Shrinking Packages

Have you noticed that the 64-ounce Tropicana Orange Juice container now holds 59 ounces of juice? Or, that Scott Toilet Tissue is 104.8 sq. ft. instead of 115.2 sq. ft.? Other shrinking packages inclu…

CPI Concerns

Should we care if China has a 5.1% annual inflation rate?  A little. The International Herald Tribune tells us that just 1/4 to 2/5 of the price we pay in the U.S. for an imported item reflects t…

A Price Story

Do you think that the BPP is more accurate than the CPI? Based at MIT, The Billion Prices Project (BPP) monitors close to 5 million items sold by approximately 300 retailers in 70 countries. Using the…

GPI Instead of CPI?

Your grandma cares about the CPI. If it indicates the price level is rising, then she will automatically get a COLA–a cost of living adjustment that elevates her monthly social security check. T…

Inflation Stories

Arrive at a supermarket at the same time everyday? Require cash instead of credit?  Stop making beer? Why? The answer to each question is INFLATION. We are told that the Fed is always worried abo…

Deflation Worries

We have something else to worry about: deflation. If you had $100 in 2000, you would need $126.60 in 2010 to make the same kinds of purchases. Called inflation, prices tend to go up each year. Most co…

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