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Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
Working Papers (Old Series)
Trimmed-mean inflation statistics: just hit the one in the middle
Brent Meyer
Guhan Venkatu

This paper reinvestigates the performance of trimmed-mean inflation measures some 20 years since their inception, asking whether there is a particular trimmed mean measure that dominates the median CPI. Unlike previous research, we evaluate the performance of symmetric and asymmetric trimmed-means using a well-known equality of prediction test. We fi nd that there is a large swath of trimmed-means that have statistically indistinguishable performance. Also, while the swath of statistically similar trims changes slightly over different sample periods, it always includes the median CPI—an extreme trim that holds conceptual and computational advantages. We conclude with a simple forecasting exercise that highlights the advantage of the median CPI relative to other standard inflation measures.

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Brent Meyer & Guhan Venkatu, Trimmed-mean inflation statistics: just hit the one in the middle, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Working Papers (Old Series) 1217, 2012, revised 01 Feb 2014.
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Keywords: Inflation (Finance) ; Consumer price indexes
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