The search engine giant is creating an alternative inflation index using web shopping data.
At a recent National Association of Business Economists conference, Google’s chief economist Hal Varian revealed that the company is working on creating a price index using data from the web. The ‘Google Price Index‘ is being developed by digging into its huge records of web shopping data and will offer an alternative statistical measurement of inflation. Unlike the official Consumer Price Index (CPI) whose data is collated by hand and published monthly with a considerable time lag, Google’s price index can potentially gather economic data much quicker from the web. Varian said that the company has no plans to publish its price index yet and is not meant to be a direct replacement for the CPI, but did reveal that it currently shows a deflationary trend for web-traded goods in the US.