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NEET 2023
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Explain the importance of consumer price index.

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The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is an important economic indicator that measures the changes in the prices of a basket of goods and services consumed by households. The basket of goods and services is selected to represent the average spending pattern of households in a specific region or country. The CPI is used to measure the rate of inflation and is one of the most widely used measures of inflation.

Here are some of the reasons why the Consumer Price Index is important:

  1. Inflation measurement: The CPI is widely used as a measure of inflation, which is the increase in the general level of prices for goods and services over time. Inflation can have a significant impact on the economy, and the CPI helps policymakers, economists, and the public understand the extent of inflation and its impact on the economy.

  2. Monetary policy: The Federal Reserve, the central bank of the United States, uses the CPI as one of its key indicators in setting monetary policy. If the rate of inflation is too high, the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates to slow down economic growth and curb inflation. Conversely, if inflation is too low, the Federal Reserve may lower interest rates to stimulate economic growth.

  3. Cost-of-living adjustments: The CPI is used to make cost-of-living adjustments for various government programs, such as Social Security and Medicare, as well as for some contracts and pensions. These adjustments help ensure that the purchasing power of people's benefits and income does not decline over time due to inflation.

  4. Business decision-making: The CPI is also used by businesses to make decisions about pricing, wages, and investment. For example, a company may use the CPI to determine if it needs to raise prices to keep up with inflation or to adjust the wages it pays its employees.

In summary, the Consumer Price Index is an important tool for understanding the economy and making informed decisions about various aspects of daily life, such as government benefits, wages, and investment.

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Consumer price index is referred to as that index that is used in calculating the retail inflation in the economy by tracking the changes in prices of most commonly used goods and services.

In other words, the consumer price index calculates the changes in price of a common basket of goods and services. It is also called a market basket and is used for calculating the price variations in fixed items.

The market basket that is used by CPI in calculating price changes represents the most common goods and services that are consumed within the economy and is therefore the weighted average for those goods and services.

The items that are considered as a basket are goods related to food, clothing, transportation, housing, electronics, apparels, education, medicine, etc.

CPI can be used to calculate the cost of living of the people of a country and also the changes in the purchasing power of the currency of a nation.

CPI detects the price changes of the items falling under the common basket and by averaging those prices.

Importance of CPI:

CPI is a widely used measure for determining inflation in an economy. Rising inflation results in the diminishing standard of living for the residents of a nation. Over a period of time, it will result in an increase in the cost of living.

A high inflation rate will result in increase in prices of goods and as a result there will be less manufacturing, which will result in loss of jobs.

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