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Is It More Expensive, or Does It Just Cost More Money?


Most of us, from the general public to professional economists, use the term inflation pretty loosely. It’s increasingly applied to any rise in prices, and even economists use it interchangeably with a rise in the cost of living. This Commentary explains what inflation is, why it should be kept distinct from a rise in the cost of living, and how some statistical measures attempt to distinguish between the two.

Most of us, from the general public to professional economists, use the term inflation pretty loosely. It’s increasingly applied to any rise in prices, and even economists use it interchangeably with a rise in the cost of living. This Commentary explains what inflation is, why it should be kept distinct from a rise in the cost of living, and how some statistical measures attempt to distinguish between the two.


Suggested citation: Bryan, Michael F., 2002. "Is It More Expensive, or Does It Just Cost More Money?" Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Economic Commentary, 05.15.2002.

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