This book is a non-technical introduction to the history of – and current measurement practice of – inflation for the United Kingdom, with comparative international case studies. The authors describe the historical development of inflation measures in a global context, and do so without using formal mathematical language and related jargon that relates only to a few specialist scholars. Although inflation is a widely used and quoted statistic, and despite the important role inflation plays in real people’s lives – through pension uprating, train tickets, interest rates and the work of economists – few people understand how it is created. O’Neill, Ralph and Smith mix historical data with a description of practices inside the UK statistical system and abroad, which will aid understanding of how this important economic statistic is produced, and the important and controversial choices that statisticians have made over time.

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