The raw inflation figure as reported through the Consumer Price Index (CPI) that is released monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The CPI calculates the cost to purchase a fixed basket of goods as a way of determining how much inflation is occurring in the broad economy. The CPI uses a base year and indexes current year prices based on the base year's values.

The headline figure is not adjusted for seasonality or for the often volatile elements of food and energy prices, which are removed in the Core CPI. Headline inflation will usually be quoted on an annualized basis, meaning that a monthly headline figure of 4\% inflation equates to a monthly rate that, if repeated for 12 months, would create 4% inflation for the year. Comparisons of headline inflation are typically made on a year-over-year basis.

Also known as "top-line inflation".