I like the Big Mac Index:

http://blog.cwpub.com/post/5179859473/big-mac-inflation

To determine the Big Mac inflation or deflation rate for any one-year period, subtract the previous yearís price from the current yearís price, divide the answer by the previous yearís price and round to the nearest 1/10th percent. Here is an example using 2010 and 2011.

$3.80 - $3.73 = $ .07 $ .07 / $3.73 = .0187 = 1.9%