Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Google Price Index

For those of you who refuse to trust the U.S. government's economic statistics:
Google is using its vast database of web shopping data to construct the ‘Google Price Index’ – a daily measure of inflation that could one day provide an alternative to official statistics.

The mix of goods sold over the internet is different to the mix of goods sold in the wider economy.

The work by Google’s chief economist, Hal Varian, highlights how economic data can be gathered far more rapidly using online sources. The official Consumer Price Index data are collected by hand from shops, and only published monthly with a time lag of several weeks.

At the National Association of Business Economists conference in Denver, Colorado, Mr Varian said that the GPI was a work in progress and Google had not yet decided whether to publish it.

While the Federal Reserve is unlikely to panic just yet, Mr Varian said that the GPI shows a “very clear deflationary trend” for web-traded goods in the US since Christmas.
Of course, Google is a big corporation and we know from the Democrats that big corporations can't be trusted. Perhaps we shouldn't trust anyone.


  1. ..will their employees' paycheck by tied to the GPI (Google Price Index) ?

  2. "For those of you who refuse to trust the U.S. government's economic statistics:"

    nice word usage.

    it suggests your version is reality and everything else is fiction. how nice that would be if I could just wave my magic wand, also.

    instant public consensus on whatever happens to be my perspective.

    that' a bit narcissistic. a tad out of touch with reality, perhaps. drug-inspired?

  3. James -- there are basically 2 types of people in the world when it comes to data.

    Group 1 which follows the data whether its good or bad, and assumes it roughly conforms to reality.

    Group 2 which follows, sometimes even trumpets the data when it paints a picture they want to see, only to then dismiss the data when it reverses and call it "fake" and "government manipulated".

  4. Anonymous is off his meds again! Quit arguing with youself -- people are staring to stare.

  5. "Of course, Google is a big corporation and we know from the Democrats that big corporations can't be trusted. Perhaps we shouldn't trust anyone. "

    Nice snark, but pretty silly. I think we should know from life experience that no person or organization should "be trusted" without verification and evaluation. Not large corporations, not governmental entities and not your private business partners. The fact that democrats and progressives shine a light specifically on large corporations is the large, concentrated amount of power they wield in our political and economic world. If you don't think google would tilt its index in a way it found beneficial to its own interests I have a bridge to sell you.

  6. Did you know that there is already a price index created by ex-Google software engineer available at website Numbeo.com? It's crowedsourced like wikipedia. It might be interesting to your readers as well. Thanks

  7. wow things have changed on this board the over the last 4 years. I havenot been back to this board in a long time. I see people have become much more realistic about home prices and that they need further downside to be affordable.
    Monthly payments based on interest rates is not a good indicator of affordability. Interest rates can go up then bang losses again.

  8. wow things have not changed at all in the 4 days since I started anonymous sockpuppeting on this blog. I see I can still troll based on my delusional view that "prices have much further to fall", and pass it off as a paradigmatic shift among the general consensus here.

    The reality of course is that everyone in their heart of heart knows that the bottom was 18 months ago. But still, thanks to the anonymous nature of this blog, I can troll with no consequences!!!

  9. Yep, unemployment 'bottomed' 18 months ago, and it remains at that low level with no sign of improvement in the near future.

    Foreclosures reached a record high in September 2010. I guess that will be considered a 'bottom' until the foreclosure freeze is lifted near the end of the year.

    Its all good.

  10. Yes we should all trust Enron,
    Anderson and Goldman.