Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Cost of Living Comparisons

The US CPI estimates the nationwide rate of inflation for a standard selection of goods and services. The index is set to 100 in the base period of 1982 - 1984, so a current index level of 200, for example, would suggest that prices have increased 100 percent since that time. There is no CPI data specific to Utah, so we rely on the national data.

While the CPI shows changes in prices across time, the cost of living comparisons show us differences in prices across geographies. The total cost of a standard set of goods and services is determined for a particular region and then compared to the cost for the same set of good and services for the US on average. So a cost of living comparison of 95 percent in Salt Lake City, for example, would suggest that it costs 5 percent less to live in Salt Lake City than the rest of the nation on average.

 

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