- Bargaineering - http://www.bargaineering.com/articles -

New Inflation Indicator: Bagel Index

No, the bagel index isn’t “real” in the sense that it’s a true economic indicator, it’s just something Jim Jubak came up with to illustrate the actual bite of inflation, as opposed to the CPI calculation which takes into account a lot of things that don’t actually directly affect the average consumer. I think another reason I liked this article [3] was that Jim talks about a schmear of cream cheese, which is an entirely foreign concept in the bagel joints I frequent down here in Baltimore. When you order a bagel with cream cheese, it comes with enough cream cheese (based on my tastes anyway) to feed a family of eight. Anyway, the price of a bagel in Jim’s neck of the woods jumped ten cents to $1.95, or a solid 5.4%. – much higher than the official numbers (which don’t actually account for food or fuel).

I’m a fan of food indices like the Big Mac Index [4] because they add a little bit of reality and applicability that are otherwise absent when it comes to cold quantitative facts and figures. Now I need to find a bagel place here that will just give me a schmear.