But all this is part of the calculations of inflation. It’s murky, full of examples and counter-examples, and contradictions, and theories. There are geographical differences. Gasoline is a lot more expensive in California than in Texas, but health insurance is cheaper (personal experience). Cars are priced similarly everywhere, but prices may be more negotiable in some areas. Rents can vary by a factor of three or four across the country, declining in some cities, and surging in others. And all this gets mixed into a single national average figure that makes no sense to anyone – but that so much depends on.