Inflation erodes purchasing power, but the reported inflation rate can mask very different experiences across groups of people. For example, the current rapidly rising rents and food and energy prices hit lower-income households harder since they spend a higher proportion of their income on these items. Dan Sichel discusses the measurement of inflation and how the single, headline statistic may not fully reveal the range of effects across income groups or categories of goods and services.
Dan is a professor at Wellesley College. He recently served as Chair of a National Academies panel that wrote the report “Modernizing the Consumer Price Index for the 21st Century”. He also worked at the Federal Reserve Board for over 20 years.