Business: Necessities: New Definition

The Bureau of Labor Statistics last week completely revised its cost-of-living index to bring it up to date and include what Americans now consider "necessities." New BLS additions to the index: television sets, frozen foods, canned baby food, cola drinks, men's rayon tropical suits, home permanents, velocipedes, electric toasters.

Despite all these bountiful additions, the index was little changed; the importance of some items already in the index was lessened to allow for the new things. On the old basis, the index stood at 181.6 in January, up 3.2 points from December; on the new basis, it stood at 181.5, up 2.7...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!