Why Our Earnings Are Not What They Seem to Be

Ranging from barely budging to a 32 percent increase, the ups and downs of average hourly earnings can be debated, depending on your numbers.

Weekly Roundup: From Smart Cars to Dumb Laws

This week’s economic news summary includes work week tradeoffs in France, new labor laws for the gig economy, and why price tags are disappearing.

Expanding How We Measure Inflation

Our CPI measure of the inflation rate has been debated because it could be calculated using a chained CPU, could be real time, and excludes some seniors.

The Christmas Price Index Might Be As Good As the CPI

This year, the increase in the PNC Christmas Price Index far exceeded the CPI. I do wonder, though, whether the CPI is really more accurate. Whereas the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) Consumer Price Index includes food, medical care and…

The CPI: Social Security COLAs

Our story starts with Ida Mae Fuller. At 65, in 1940, Ms. Fuller got the first US monthly Social Security retirement check for $22.54. In 1941, she got $22.54 each month. In 1942, 1943, and 1944 she still got her…

Dow Jones Average: Remembering Inflation

The Dow Jones Average closed at an historic high yesterday…maybe. Yes, 14,253.77 was higher than ever. However, if we remember inflation, then the most recent Dow high was during 2000. Let’s start with the numbers we are used to hearing.…

Inflation: The Christmas Price Index

How to measure inflation? The Christmas Price Index. Whereas the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) Consumer Price Index includes food and medical care and cars, PNC Wealth Management’s CPI, its Christmas Price Index, has swans and hens and dancing maids.…

Size Inflation

Inflation is not only at the cash register. Our story starts at H&M where an Esquire journalist tried on a size 36 pants that were too tight. He continued his search for pants with the 36″ waist label at Old…

The Christmas Price Index

You might want to check the CPI (the Christmas Price Index). Calculated by PNC for the last 28 years, it tells us the value of the items in “The 12 Days of Christmas.” This year, the PNC CPI totaled $24,263.18…

Ben Franklin’s Turkey

The bald eagle is our national bird but, according to Ben Franklin, the turkey should have been. In a letter to his daughter, he explains why. “True original natives,” turkeys are American birds. “…Though a little vain and silly, [the…