For nine years, from 2007 to 2015, the Argentine government manipulated economic statistics in an attempt to fool the public into believing inflation was lower than it actually was. Citizens, however, didn’t buy it. In fact, they showed a remarkable aptitude for seeing through the claims.
Organisations like the Bank and the Office for National Statistics can now draw on exponentially more data to produce their assessments of how the country is performing.
The goal of mapping economic activity in real time, just as we do for weather or traffic, is “closer than ever to being within our grasp”, according to Andy Haldane, the Bank of England’s chief economist.
PriceStats, based on MIT’s Billion Prices Project, takes a daily temperature using online sales.
Mining digital information for accurate, up-to-date economic snapshots could help officials make quicker and better decisions
Through a vast and ongoing data-collecting exercise, PriceStats has helped central banks overcome many of the drawbacks inherent in traditional inflation series.
The growth of e-commerce is well understood, tracking the smartphone’s ubiquity and a global supply chain that delivers consumer goods quickly and cheaply. Its impact on inflation—the so-called Amazon effect—is still being explored by economists.
In public debates about economic policy, it can be hard to separate real insights from political posturing. But a few simple rules of thumb can help.
The recent financial crisis, and the euro area sovereign debt crisis that followed, were characterised by periods of increased heterogeneity, market fragmentation and sudden turns in economic activity. This often made it difficult for economic policymakers to understand and assess in real time the underlying forces driving economic behaviour. Both traditional statistical datasets and our
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Alberto Cavallo ajudou a elaborar uma pesquisa de preços on-line e criou portal que mede as variações na Argentina e Venezuela .
La inflación venezolana es de tal magnitud que da para experimentos. En el Instituto Tecnológico de Massachussets, en Estados Unidos, comenzaron uno hace tres meses: medir la inflación, esa que descose los bolsillos de los ciudadanos, con ayuda de los mismos que la padecen.
The purchasing power of one dollar is worth more online, according to software company Adobe’s Digital Price Index, which looked at online and offline spending. If consumers had shifted all of their offline spending last year to online, that difference would have meant saving about $2.2 billion, it estimated.
New price data from Adobe Systems Inc., released today, show that online increased its price advantage vs. offline over the past two years. Logically speaking, though, the gap can’t keep widening forever. And there are some hints in the data that online’s edge is already—well, not going away, but approaching its limit.
Economists, policymakers, and business leaders need better data on which to base their forecasts. Fortunately, new sources of information about the economy have recently emerged: the vast collections of private data collected by search engines and other Internet companies.