US changing price gauge to reflect housing spiral

The government announced it is changing its main inflation measure - the consumer price index, which result in smaller increases both in annual cost-of-living increase for social security recipients and wage increases for millions of Americans.

The price index will reflect a new housing price measurement beginning in January 1983, two years earlier than planned. The change will in effect replace the volatile mortgage interest rate component with a ''rental equivalence measure.'' Costs of home ownership are now usually lower than the price index shows.

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