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Working Paper

Disentangling Rent Index Differences: Data, Methods, and Scope

Prominent rent growth indices often give strikingly different measurements of rent inflation. We create new indices from Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) rent microdata using a repeat-rent index methodology and show that this discrepancy is almost entirely explained by differences in rent growth for new tenants relative to the average rent growth for all tenants. Rent inflation for new tenants leads the official BLS rent inflation by four quarters. As rent is the largest component of the consumer price index, this has implications for our understanding of aggregate inflation dynamics and guiding monetary policy.

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Suggested Citation

Adams, Brian, Lara Loewenstein, Hugh Montag, and Randal J. Verbrugge. 2022. “Disentangling Rent Index Differences: Data, Methods, and Scope.” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Paper No. 22-38.