Personal consumption expenditures price index
The PCE price index (PCEPI), also referred to as the PCE deflator, PCE price deflator, or the Implicit Price Deflator for Personal Consumption Expenditures (IPD for PCE) by the BEA, and as the Chain-type Price Index for Personal Consumption Expenditures (CTPIPCE) by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), is a United States-wide indicator of the average increase in prices for all domestic personal consumption. It is benchmarked to a base of 2012 = 100. Using a variety of data including U.S. Consumer Price Index and Producer Price Index prices, it is derived from the largest component of the GDP in the BEA's National Income and Product Accounts, personal consumption expenditures.
The personal consumption expenditure (PCE) measure is the component statistic for consumption in gross domestic product (GDP) collected by the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). It consists of the actual and imputed expenditures of households and includes data pertaining to durable and non-durable goods and services. It is essentially a measure of goods and services targeted towards individuals and consumed by individuals. The less volatile measure of the PCE price index is the core PCE (CPCE) price index, which excludes the more volatile and seasonal food and energy prices.
In comparison to the headline United States Consumer Price Index (CPI), which uses one set of expenditure weights for several years, this index uses a Fisher Price Index, which uses expenditure data from the current period and the preceding period. Also, the PCEPI uses a chained index which compares one quarter's price to the previous quarter's instead of choosing a fixed base. This price index method assumes that the consumer has made allowances for changes in relative prices. That is to say, they have substituted from goods whose prices are rising to goods whose prices are stable or falling.
PCE has been tracked since January 1959. Through July 2018, inflation measured by PCE has averaged 3.3%, while it has averaged 3.8% using CPI. This may be due to the failure of CPI to take into account the substitution effect. Alternatively, an unpublished report on this difference by the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that most of it is from different ways of calculating hospital expenses and airfares.