What Is CPI?

It is imperative investors be able to answer the question "what is CPI" and to know how it is used.

CPI written on wooden blocks under magnifying glass on top of 100 dollar bills
(Image credit: Getty Images)

"What is CPI" is likely a question not as many folks are asking these days given how hyper-focused on inflation we've all become in recent years. Still, it's a worthy question for those not as well-versed on the topic of rising prices.

You see, when people talk about how they were once able to buy a gallon of gas for a quarter and bread for less than two dimes, they're complaining about inflation, or the rising cost of goods and services over time. And when people talk about inflation, they often refer to the Consumer Price Index, or CPI. 

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Coryanne Hicks
Contributing Writer, Kiplinger.com

Coryanne Hicks is an investing and personal finance journalist specializing in women and millennial investors. Previously, she was a fully licensed financial professional at Fidelity Investments where she helped clients make more informed financial decisions every day. She has ghostwritten financial guidebooks for industry professionals and even a personal memoir. She is passionate about improving financial literacy and believes a little education can go a long way. You can connect with her on Twitter, Instagram or her website, CoryanneHicks.com.