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WHITING, IN: UFCW Local 157
WHITMAN, MA: CWA Local 31027
WHITMIRE, SC: BMWE Local 544
WHITTIER, CA: APWU Local 4635
WHITTIER, CA: IUPAT Local 1247
WHITTIER, CA: UA Local 709
WHITTIER, CA: UBC Local 721
WHITTIER, CA: UWUA Local 132
WHITTIER, NC: CWA Local 3673
WHITWELL, TN: UTU Local 346
WICHITA FALLS, TX: APWU Local 754
WICHITA FALLS, TX: BLET Local 736
WICHITA FALLS, TX: IAM Local 2771
WICHITA FALLS, TX: IATSE Local 378
WICHITA FALLS, TX: IBB Local 5200
WICHITA FALLS, TX: IBEW Local 681
WICHITA FALLS, TX: IW Local 536
WICHITA FALLS, TX: UA Local 389
WICHITA FALLS, TX: UAW Local 2157
WICHITA FALLS, TX: UTU Local 940
WICHITA, KS: AFGE Local 1737
WICHITA, KS: AFGE Local 477
WICHITA, KS: AFM Local 297
WICHITA, KS: APWU Local 735
WICHITA, KS: BCTGM Local 245
WICHITA, KS: BCTGM Local 99
WICHITA, KS: BLET Local 364
WICHITA, KS: CWA Local 6402
WICHITA, KS: GCC Local 147
WICHITA, KS: GCC Local 575
WICHITA, KS: IAM Local 1989
WICHITA, KS: IAM Local 1992
WICHITA, KS: IAM Local 1994
WICHITA, KS: IAM Local 2328
WICHITA, KS: IAM Local 2799
WICHITA, KS: IAM Local 639
WICHITA, KS: IAM Local 70
WICHITA, KS: IAM Local 708
WICHITA, KS: IAM Local 733
WICHITA, KS: IAM Local 774
 

How is the Consumer Price Index (CPI) used?

The Consumer Price Index affects nearly all Americans because of the many ways it is used. Three major uses are:

As an economic indicator: The CPI is the most widely used measure of inflation and is sometimes viewed as an indicator of the effectiveness of government economic policy. It provides information about price changes in the Nation's economy to government, business, labor, and other private citizens, and is used by them as a guide to making economic decisions. In addition, the President, Congress, and the Federal Reserve Board use trends in the CPI to aid in formulating fiscal and monetary policies.

As a deflator of other economic series: The CPI and its components are used to adjust other economic series for price changes and to translate these series into inflation-free dollars. Examples of series adjusted by the CPI include retail sales, hourly and weekly earnings, and components of the national income and product accounts. An interesting example of this is the use of the CPI as a deflator of the value of the consumer's dollar to find its purchasing power. The purchasing power of the consumer's dollar measures the change in the value to the consumer of goods and services that a dollar will buy at different dates. In other words, as prices increase, the purchasing power of the consumer's dollar declines.

As a means of adjusting dollar values: The CPI is often used to adjust consumers' income payments, for example, Social Security; to adjust income eligibility levels for government assistance; and to automatically provide cost-of-living wage adjustments to millions of American workers. The CPI affects the income of about 80 million persons as a result of statutory action: 48.4 million Social Security beneficiaries, about 19.8 million food stamp recipients, and about 4.2 million military and Federal Civil Service retirees and survivors. Changes in the CPI also affect the cost of lunches for 26.5 million children who eat lunch at school, while collective bargaining agreements that tie wages to the CPI cover over 2 million workers. Another example of how dollar values may be adjusted is the use of the CPI to adjust the Federal income tax structure. These adjustments prevent inflation-induced increases in tax rates, an effect called "bracket creep".

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