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This one monthly cost might be skewing inflation data

We might not understand consumer prices as well as we thought we did.

Consumer prices may be more volatile than previously thought, based on current indexes, according to a new report from researchers at the Penn State Smeal College of Business.

The researchers analyzed how housing rent is currently factored into official price indexes, including the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ consumer price index (CPI) and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis’s index for personal consumption expenditure (PCE).

Both of those indexes are designed to show price moves, based on the prices of a certain collection of consumer goods.

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