Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Release: Consumer Price Index
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers: All Items (CPIAUCSL) is a measure of the average monthly change in the price for goods and services paid by urban consumers between any two time periods.(1) It can also represent the buying habits of urban consumers. This particular index includes roughly 88 percent of the total population, accounting for wage earners, clerical workers, technical workers, self-employed, short-term workers, unemployed, retirees, and those not in the labor force.(1)
The CPIs are based on prices for food, clothing, shelter, and fuels; transportation fares; service fees (e.g., water and sewer service); and sales taxes. Prices are collected monthly from about 4,000 housing units and approximately 26,000 retail establishments across 87 urban areas.(1) To calculate the index, price changes are averaged with weights representing their importance in the spending of the particular group. The index measures price changes (as a percent change) from a predetermined reference date.(1) In addition to the original unadjusted index distributed, the Bureau of Labor Statistics also releases a seasonally adjusted index. The unadjusted series reflects all factors that may influence a change in prices. However, it can be very useful to look at the seasonally adjusted CPI, which removes the effects of seasonal changes, such as weather, school year, production cycles, and holidays.(1)
The CPI can be used to recognize periods of inflation and deflation. Significant increases in the CPI within a short time frame might indicate a period of inflation, and significant decreases in CPI within a short time frame might indicate a period of deflation. However, because the CPI includes volatile food and oil prices, it might not be a reliable measure of inflationary and deflationary periods. For a more accurate detection, the core CPI (Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers: All Items Less Food & Energy [CPILFESL]) is often used. When using the CPI, please note that it is not applicable to all consumers and should not be used to determine relative living costs.(1) Additionally, the CPI is a statistical measure vulnerable to sampling error since it is based on a sample of prices and not the complete average.(1)
For more information on the consumer price indexes, see:
(1) Bureau of Economic Analysis. “CPI Detailed Report.” 2013; http://www.bls.gov/cpi/.
Handbook of Methods - (http://www.bls.gov/opub/hom/pdf/homch17.pdf)
Understanding the CPI: Frequently Asked Questions - (http://stats.bls.gov:80/cpi/cpifaq.htm)
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers: All Items [CPIAUCSL], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CPIAUCSL, February 20, 2019.
Release: LBMA Gold Price: Daily Prices
The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) Gold Price was launched on the 20th March 2015 to replace the historic London Gold Fix. ICE Benchmark Administration (IBA) provides the auction platform, methodology as well as overall independent administration and governance for the LBMA Gold Price, with the LBMA holding the intellectual property rights. The price continues to be set twice daily (at 10:30 and 15:00 London GMT) in US dollars. Sterling and Euro prices are available but they are indicative prices for settlement only. For further information contact the LBMA at Au.Consult@lbma.org.uk or the IBA at email@example.com.
Copyright, 2016, ICE Benchmark Administration.
ICE Benchmark Administration Limited (IBA), Gold Fixing Price 10:30 A.M. (London time) in London Bullion Market, based in U.S. Dollars [GOLDAMGBD228NLBM], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/GOLDAMGBD228NLBM, February 20, 2019.
Release: Spot Prices
Definitions, Sources and Explanatory Notes: http://www.eia.doe.gov/dnav/pet/TblDefs/pet_pri_spt_tbldef2.asp
U.S. Energy Information Administration, Crude Oil Prices: West Texas Intermediate (WTI) - Cushing, Oklahoma [WCOILWTICO], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/WCOILWTICO, February 20, 2019.
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census
Release: New Residential Sales
U.S. Bureau of the Census and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Median Sales Price of Houses Sold for the United States [MSPUS], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MSPUS, February 20, 2019.
Source: U.S. Bureau of the Census
Household data are collected as of March.
As stated in the Census's "Source and Accuracy of Estimates for Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2011" (http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/p60_243sa.pdf):
Estimation of Median Incomes. The Census Bureau has changed the methodology for computing median income over time. The Census Bureau has computed medians using either Pareto interpolation or linear interpolation. Currently, we are using linear interpolation to estimate all medians. Pareto interpolation assumes a decreasing density of population within an income interval, whereas linear interpolation assumes a constant density of population within an income interval. The Census Bureau calculated estimates of median income and associated standard errors for 1979 through 1987 using Pareto interpolation if the estimate was larger than $20,000 for people or $40,000 for families and households. This is because the width of the income interval containing the estimate is greater than $2,500.
We calculated estimates of median income and associated standard errors for 1976, 1977, and 1978 using Pareto interpolation if the estimate was larger than $12,000 for people or $18,000 for families and households. This is because the width of the income interval containing the estimate is greater than $1,000. All other estimates of median income and associated standard errors for 1976 through 2011 (2012 ASEC) and almost all of the estimates of median income and associated standard errors for 1975 and earlier were calculated using linear interpolation.
Thus, use caution when comparing median incomes above $12,000 for people or $18,000 for families and households for different years. Median incomes below those levels are more comparable from year to year since they have always been calculated using linear interpolation. For an indication of the comparability of medians calculated using Pareto interpolation with medians calculated using linear interpolation, see Series P-60, Number 114, Money Income in 1976 of Families and Persons in the United States (www2.census.gov/prod2/popscan/p60-114.pdf).
U.S. Bureau of the Census, Median Household Income in the United States [MEHOINUSA646N], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/MEHOINUSA646N, February 20, 2019.
Release: Treasury Bulletin
U.S. Department of the Treasury. Fiscal Service, Federal Debt: Total Public Debt [GFDEBTN], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/GFDEBTN, February 20, 2019.