CPI in the Time of Coronavirus


Kam Yu

Published: June 2020


The spread of the COVID-19 around the world started in January 2020. Many countries implemented an activity lockdown after the World Health Organization announced pandemic status. Businesses have been ordered by governments to impose severe restrictions on their activities and transactions. Office workers shift their work home, schools are closed, and many factories are shut down. Just before economic lockdown and social distancing policies were announced, total consumer expenditures ?rst spiked, owing to panic buying, and then collapsed after about two weeks. These large ?uctuations in shares of relative expenditure have a profound impact on data collection and calculation of official statistics. This short article focuses on the consumer price index (CPI).



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