234.241 CPI-W is the magic number if you are expecting a 2016 Social Security COLA

234.241 is the average CPI-W for July, August and September 2014. To have a Social Security COLA in 2016 the average CPI-W for July, August and September 2015 must exceed that average.

So far this year’s the monthly CPI-W numbers are:

January: 228.294  February: 229.421 March: 231.055

Inflation is not up, but rather currently lower than in 2014. The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) decreased 0.6 percent over the last 12 months to an index level of 231.055 (1982-84=100). For the month, the index rose 0.7 percent prior to seasonal adjustment.

While the March index is slightly higher than January or February, at its current level it is still not sufficient to generate a 2016 COLA. 

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