Market basket

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A market basket or commodity bundle is a fixed list of items, in given proportions, used specifically to track the progress of inflation in an economy or specific market.

Consumer basket[edit]

The most common type of market basket is the basket of consumer goods used to define the Consumer Price Index (CPI). It is a sample of goods and services, offered at the consumer market.

In the United States, the sample is determined by Consumer Expenditure Surveys conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics[1]. The price collection is conducted by data collectors on a monthly basis, and is processed further by commodity specialists[2].

Examples of categories included in the basket are[3]:

  • Food and Beverages (breakfast cereal, milk, coffee, chicken, wine, full service meals, snacks)
  • Housing (rent of primary residence, owners' equivalent rent, fuel oil, bedroom furniture)
  • Apparel (men's shirts and sweaters, women's dresses, jewelry)
  • Transportation (new vehicles, airline fares, gasoline, motor vehicle insurance)
  • Medical Care (prescription drugs and medical supplies, physicians' services, eyeglasses and eye care, hospital services)
  • Recreation (televisions, toys, pets and pet products, sports equipment, admissions)
  • Education and Communication (college tuition, postage, telephone services, computer software and accessories)
  • Other goods and Services (tobacco and smoking products, haircuts and other personal services, funeral expenses)

Other baskets[edit]

Other types of baskets are used to define the Producer Price Index (PPI), previously known as the Wholesale Price Index (WPI), as well as various commodity price indices.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "How is the CPI market basket determined?".
  2. ^ "How are CPI prices collected and reviewed?".
  3. ^ "What goods and services does the CPI cover?".