You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Business

A government agent, on the prowl for inflation

Dan Dugan appears without warning at ­supermarkets, auto lots, and funeral homes across Eastern Massachusetts, a government agent with a thick black computer tucked under his arm and a veil of secrecy surrounding his work. His mission: Track the prices of hundreds of items, from apples to used cars to caskets.

Dugan is an economic assistant at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and he works on inflation’s front line, collecting information used to calculate the Consumer Price Index, the best-known gauge of inflation.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week