November 19, 2015 While the CPI is the most commonly used measure to track inflation, it is not fully consistent with a true cost-of-living index (COLI). Although the official treatment of durable goods and housing in the CPI represents an acceptable compromise in the current environment of low and stable inflation, Sabourin and Duguay suggest that it would be worthwhile to consider treating housing and durables in the same way and bringing the actual CPI closer to a COLI. This could be accomplished by employing an enhanced user-cost approach to calculate the imputed cost of the services provided by the use of durable goods or housing.
This paper evaluates the usefulness of various measures of core inflation for the conduct of monetary policy. Traditional exclusion-based measures of core inflation are found to perform relatively poorly across a range of evaluation criteria, in part due to their inability to filter unanticipated transitory shocks.