Syn: retail price index. A calculation conducted periodically, usually every month or annually, that compares current costs for specified goods and services, viz. basic staple items such as food, fuel, housing, transportation, with the costs of these items at a baseline, e.g., average costs of the same items in the previous year. The figures for the cost of living index usually are derived from an ongoing government survey. See also inflation.
Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology — Economics.