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The Complete Idiot’s Guide® To: Economic Indicators by Mark R. Rogers

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Part 3. Inflation Numbers

If you buy gasoline for your car or buy fresh meat at the grocery store, you already know what inflation is about. But the government and financial markets want to know more than just that it cost more to fill the gas tank this week than last month. The nitty-gritty details on what consumers pay at the store also affect what the financial markets think that interest rates should be. Plus, the official inflation numbers can tip the balance on whether the Federal Reserve raises or lowers interest rates. And don’t forget, when you retire, the inflation numbers will affect the next year’s Social Security payment.

But there’s more to inflation than what consumers have to pay. Key inflation numbers cover the labor markets, what ...

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