Some Of The Weirdest Items Tracked By The Government When It Calculates CPI

Photo: KOMUnews

Big Brother is watching you, and everything you buy.The U.S. government, naturally, tracks the price of commodities needs through the Bureau of labour Statistics (BLS). But, define need. Some of the things we’ve noticed that they’re noticing are a little weird. For example, why is there a category for ‘uncooked ground beef’?

To make sense of it all, the BLS also includes an item’s weight, in terms of importance, out of 100. The CPI-U number marks an item’s importance for urban customers.  CPI-W ranks it for hourly wage earners and clerical workers.  CPI-U and CPI-W are included in the equation that determines CPI.

Probably a good idea, as I’m sure I need to know how much rice and pasta are inflating, but I don’t think I’ve ever intentionally bought a ‘notion’ (yes, a notion) in my life.

Uncooked beef steaks

CPI-U weight out of 100: 0.173

CPI-W weight out of 100: 0.209

Source: The Bureau of labour Statistics

Curtains and rugs

CPI-U weight out of 100: 0.303

CPI-W weight out of 100: 0.255

Source: The Bureau of labour Statistics

Salad Dressing

CPI-U weight out of 100: 0.063

CPI-W weight out of 100: 0.072

Source: The Bureau of labour Statistics

Sewing materials, Notions, and luggage

'Notions' are buttons and ribbons and things. Yeah, we didn't have any idea what it was either.

CPI-U weight out of 100: 0.060

CPI-W weight out of 100: 0.049

Source: The Bureau of labour Statistics

Processed fish and seafood

CPI-U weight out of 100: 0.138

CPI-W weight out of 100: 0.148

Source: The Bureau of labour Statistics

Manicures, cosmetics and eyebrow waxes

CPI-U weight out of 100: 0.330

CPI-W weight out of 100: 0343

Source: The Bureau of labour Statistics

Seasonings, Sauces, Condiments and Gravies

CPI-U weight out of 100: 0.250

CPI-W weight out of 100: 0.277

Source: The Bureau of labour Statistics

Haircuts

CPI-U weight out of 100: 0.638

CPI-W weight out of 100: 0.572

Source: The Bureau of labour Statistics

Tobacco products other than cigarettes

CPI-U weight out of 100: 0.063

CPI-W weight out of 100: 0.087

Source: The Bureau of labour Statistics

Laundry

CPI-U weight out of 100: 0.258

CPI-W weight out of 100: 0.282

Source: The Bureau of labour Statistics

Garbage and trash collection

CPI-U weight out of 100: 0.261

CPI-W weight out of 100: 0.254

Source: The Bureau of labour Statistics

Musical instruments

CPI-U weight out of 100: 0.046

CPI-W weight out of 100: 0.075

Source: The Bureau of labour Statistics

Food at employee sites and schools

CPI-U weight out of 100: 0.269

CPI-W weight out of 100: 0.341

Source: The Bureau of labour Statistics

Indoor plants and flowers

CPI-U weight out of 100: 0.105

CPI-W weight out of 100: 0.068

Source: The Bureau of labour Statistics

Clocks and lamps

CPI-U weight out of 100: 0.292

CPI-W weight out of 100: 0.253

Source: The Bureau of labour Statistics

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