Consumer Price Index

Highlights of CPI Item Structure Changes by Major Group and Main Housing Subgroups

Exhibit 1. Highlights of CPI item structure changes by major group and main Housing subgroups
FOOD AND BEVERAGES There were no significant changes to the content of this major group; the components were restructured. Within the food-at-home component, many small item strata were collapsed. Some strata were redefined to include consumption companions rather than their industry associates. For example, "butter" moved from ‘dairy products’ to be with ‘‘margarine’’ in ‘fats and oils.’

Food away from home was restructured into five new strata—‘full-service restaurants,’ ‘limited service restaurants,’ ‘food at employee sites and schools,’ ‘food from vending machines and snack bars,’ and ‘other food away from home’. These replaced the current strata for ‘lunch,’ for ‘dinner,’ and for ‘other meals and snacks.’
HOUSING-SHELTER The ‘maintenance and repair’ components currently included in HOUSING-SHELTER moved to HOUSING-HOUSEHOLD FURNISHINGS AND OPERATIONS. This was not a significant change in the composition of SHELTER because the ‘maintenance and repair’ expenditure weight was very small compared with the expenditure weight for SHELTER. There were also structural changes in SHELTER. ‘Rent of primary residence’ and ‘lodging away from home’ are now separate expenditure classes. A new item strata, ‘tenants’ and ‘household insurance’ was created by collapsing two strata.
HOUSING-FUELS AND UTILITIES The HOUSING-FUELS AND UTILITIES subgroup composition changed; some current components moved to other major groups. The ‘telephone’ strata moved to the new EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION major group, where these strata were restructured. Cable TV moved to the RECREATION major group (formerly, ENTERTAINMENT).
HOUSING-HOUSEHOLD FURNISHINGS AND OPERATIONS Several components of the current HOUSING-HOUSEHOLD FURNISHINGS AND OPERATIONS subgroup moved to other major groups. ‘Televisions and sound equipment,’ moved to RECREATION (formerly, ENTERTAINMENT). ‘Sewing machines’ joined other sewing items and also went to RECREATION. As explained under APPAREL, we combined ‘household laundry and dry cleaning’ with ‘apparel laundry and dry cleaning’ and put the combination into OTHER GOODS AND SERVICES, and combined ‘household sewing’ with ‘clothing sewing’ and put that in RECREATION. ‘Maintenance and repair’ moved into this HOUSING subgroup. Components that remained in the HOUSING-HOUSEHOLD FURNISHINGS AND OPERATIONS subgroup were restructured.
APPAREL The composition of the current APPAREL AND UPKEEP major group changed; the new major group, APPAREL, excludes the components of apparel upkeep. ‘Apparel laundry and dry cleaning’ combined with ‘household laundry and dry cleaning’ from the HOUSING HOUSEHOLD FURNISHINGS AND OPERATIONS subgroup and moved to OTHER GOODS AND SERVICES. ‘Sewing items’ moved to the RECREATION major group (formerly called ENTERTAINMENT.) and ‘luggage’ moved to OTHER GOODS AND SERVICES. The small amount of restructuring within the remaining APPAREL strata was confined to the ‘women’s apparel’ expenditure class.
TRANSPORTATION The composition of TRANSPORTATION did not change; the components were restructured. Cars and trucks were combined into a single, very large item stratum. BLS will produce substratum indexes for ‘new cars’ and for ‘new trucks.’ ‘Automobile finance charges’ were dropped entirely from the scope of the CPI.
MEDICAL CARE The composition of MEDICAL CARE did not change. Within medical care, the emphasis for the 1998 CPI revision was to improve the pricing methods. To accommodate this, the current three hospital strata were collapsed into one combined item stratum, ‘hospital services.’
RECREATION (formerly ENTERTAINMENT) ENTERTAINMENT changed to RECREATION to make it clearer that it includes the costs associated with active leisure activities. RECREATION now includes video and audio equipment and services, including cable TV, and sewing previously in HOUSING. RECREATION now includes other sewing items that were previously included in the old APPAREL AND UPKEEP major group. RECREATION received ‘recreational reading materials’ from OTHER GOODS AND SERVICES. There was a major restructuring of the expenditure classes and item strata within RECREATION.
EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION This is a new major group. The ‘education’ components were drawn from the old OTHER GOODS AND SERVICES major group; and the COMMUNICATION components, consisting of telephones, computers, and postage, were previously in HOUSING.
OTHER GOODS AND SERVICES The size of this major group was reduced. OTHER GOODS AND SERVICES continues to include tobacco, personal care, and miscellaneous services and miscellaneous goods although these expenditure classes were restructured. ‘School books and supplies,’ as well as ‘daycare, tuition, and other school fees,’ now form the ‘education’ subgroup of the new major group, EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION.

Last Modified Date: October 16, 2001

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