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Justin Fox

Inflation Is Even Worse If You Measure It the Proper Way

Making a year-over-year comparison of price increases is easy to understand but inevitably backward-looking. And right now monthly core inflation is clearly accelerating.

Gauging the pain.

Gauging the pain.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

As you may have heard, the US inflation rate is 9.1%. That is, the consumer price index for all items as estimated for June by the Bureau of Labor Statistics was 9.1% higher than it was a year earlier.

Other economic indicators generally aren’t measured this way. With retail sales it’s the percentage change from one month to the next that gets the headlines. With employment it’s the monthly change in the number of jobs. With gross domestic product, in the US at least, it’s the annualized quarterly change .