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Differences between early-year and final inflation estimates for recent years

Revised January 19, 2012, using final 2011 price change of 3.2 percent, CPI = 2.24939 and using  using the average of OMB and CBO inflation estimates for 2012-2022 as of January and February 2011.   The estimates for 2012 to 2022 will be revised by mid-March 2012, after the CBO and OMB have updated their inflation estimates for those years.

Early-year estimates might differ sharply from price level change information after the year has ended.

For example, the early 2011 estimate of inflation was 1.6 percent, for an estimated CPI (1982-84 base period) of 2.212.  This was the average of OMB and CBO estimates as of January and February 2011.  The final CPI for 2011 (CPI-U) was 3.2 percent (CPI of 2.24939).

By contrast, the early 2010 estimated CPI was very close to the final, an inflation rate of 1.6 percent.

The  2009 CPI estimated spring 2009 was 213.9, for an estimated 2009 deflation of -0.65 percent; actual (final) was 214.537, for an actual 2009 deflation of -0.36 percent.  Unlike 2006, when estimated and actual inflation were the same, in 2007 through 2009 the actual inflation (deflation) was higher than the early-year estimates.  So the final conversion factors differ significantly from those estimated early in 2007, 2008, and 2009, based on the average of OMB and CBO inflation estimates.

The source of final 2011 CPI is Consumer Price Index:  December 2011, issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics January 19, 2012, Table 1A, CPI-U,  entry for "all items annual average 2011".  Analogous publications were used to produce each year's inflation conversion factors.