The Rising Cost Of Drinking, Smoking, Dying And Preparing Your Tax Return

In April, the Bureau of labour Statistics will be presenting consumer price index data in redesigned tables.

In other words, the BLS will be “rearranging the deck chairs,” writes Credit Suisse economist Neal Soss.

At present, the CPI is broken down into eight categories: food and beverages; housing; apparel; transportation; medical care; recreation; education and communication; and other goods and services.

Soss suggests a more real-world and “down-to-earth” way of presenting the data, which identifies categories that “mirror the way households group things.”  His eleven categories: house; care; eat at home; in the home; how you look; how you feel; school; eat out; vacation; fun; and drink, smoke, death & taxes.

Soss’s report to clients reviews each of his eleven individual categories based on trailing 12-month and trailing 10-year price trends.

We couldn’t help but be amused by the fact that Soss lumped death and tax together into one category.  Here’s a look at inflation trends in that eleventh category:


Photo: Credit Suisse


Photo: Credit Suisse

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