Prices: New Index

The nation's most carefully watched economic indicator—the Bureau of Labor Statistics' cost of living index, to which the wages of 2.5 million U.S. workers are tied—will appear this week in a new statistical form. It has undergone the first major changes in a decade, to make it better reflect the expenses incurred by a modern family.

Some 75 new items are included in the revised 400-item index, as a result of a survey of 12,000 families in 66 cities. Among the new items: funeral costs, home-and auto-finance charges, hotel-motel rates, snack prices, parking fees, college tuitions, and the prices of textbooks,...

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