Visualizing Inflation As A Pile Of Mold

The NYT has a cool graphic up that shows all the parts of the Consumer Price Index and uses a color scheme to show how much they’ve gone up by in the past year. Go to the version on their site so you can zoom in closer on all the cells. It looks like a horribly growing fungus inside a petri dish, which I guess is not far from the truth.

All of Inflation’s Little Parts [NYT] (Thanks to Natan!)


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  1. KD17 says:

    Cool chart and it only took me about 10 seconds to find the “beer at home” numbers :)

  2. I like this, but find it a little too granular for widespread appeal. IMO they just need to simplify it to the basic categories instead of all those little tiny bits (which probably have a VERY high standard deviation, statistically).

    I also find it more useful to compare these medians against median gross income, so we can see the tax burdens, too :D

  3. Juggernaut says:

    mmmmmmmmmmm, moldy pie!

  4. yesteryear says:

    id love to see this exact analysis for the UK and/or canada.

  5. Lucky225 says:

    What this chart doesn’t show you is Federal Spending or The Federal Reserve’s manipulation tactics (Artificial interest rates, printing money out of thin air.) But like the NY times says this is the Consumer Price index, ‘ONE source of inflation.’

  6. AnneJ says:

    Fascinating! Especially since you can scroll over each section and get even more data! Thanks!

  7. humphrmi says:

    @Lucky225: Currency policy is reflected in all of the items in that chart. For instance, when the Fed lowers interest rates, the dollar loses it’s value and foreign companies (like oil producers) have to raise their prices to maintain the same level of profit before the rate cut. Same thing if the Fed injects more money into the economy.