Quarterly Review 2712

Measuring Consumption Growth: The Impact of New and Better Products

Peter J. Klenow | Consultant

Winter 2003

This study describes how the U.S. government measures real consumption growth and how it tries to take account of a complicating factor: that the goods and services offered to consumers change over time; new products are introduced and old products are improved. The 1996 Boskin Commission critique of this government methodology is described, along with the changes made in response to that critique. Also described is recent research related to how real consumption growth should be measured in the presence of new and better products.

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