What are we measuring?
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is a measure of the average price paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services. It is important to note that area CPIs cannot be used to compare levels of living costs or prices across areas. However, it is useful as a measure of changes over time in the consumer's purchasing power in an area and how the rate and direction of that change compare to other areas.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes the CPI quarterly for selected metropolitan areas of the U.S. but does not publish the CPI for counties. The figures presented on this page are for the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell metropolitan area.
Why is it important?
The consumer price index is the most widely used measure of inflation and can be used as an indicator of the effectiveness of economic policies. It can also be used to measure how rapidly the purchasing power of the consumer's dollar is rising or declining in a given metropolitan area. Rising prices erode purchasing power and, unless wages rise at the same rate, lower living standards.
How are we doing?
The consumer price index for Atlanta metro area has increased annually between 1% and 4% since 2001 with the exception of 2008, when the CPI dropped by 4%. Over the past 5 years, the CPI for Atlanta metro area has increased by 9.8%. This rate places the Atlanta area ahead of the average for Class A metro areas (population over 1.5 million) in all regions except the West.