The Fed began publicly reporting on new measure in December of last year, and takes into account a broader measure of inflation than the more-often used CPI measure.
Not shockingly, the UIG has shown a higher rate of inflation than the CPI, most of the time in recent years. Moreover, this gap between UIG and CPI appears to be growing.
In March, while the UIG was 3.13 percent, the CPI growth rate was 2.4 percent. This was a 13-month high for the CPI.
The use of consumer prices only in the CPI has long been a problem, in that the cost of living and planning for the future does not involve only the basket of goods used in the CPI calculations. A wide variety of assets affect the American economy as well.
As explained by the New York Fed's summary of the UIG measure:
We use data from the following two broad categories: (1) consumer, producer, and import prices for goods and services and (2) nonprice variables such as labor market measures, money aggregates, producer surveys, and financial variables (short- and long-term government interest rates, corporate and high-yield bonds, consumer credit volumes and real estate loans, stocks, and commodity prices).But don't expect the Fed to abandon its fondness for the CPI and the "2-percent inflation" goal any time soon. Today, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Charles Evans, reiterated that the Fed is holding to its 2-percent inflation goal - and they're not talking about using the UIG measure.