How Adobe stumbled upon a new way to measure inflation
Data: Adobe; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios
For years, economists have relied on the Consumer Price Index as a proxy for the rise in inflation seen by average American households. It's made up of some 80,000 prices in 200 categories.
Adobe thinks it has a more modern approach that can surface the data — and therefore spot inflation trends — much faster. Dubbed the Digital Price Index, it draws on the tons of data that the company gets from online retailers that are part of its digital marketing cloud. It gets pricing data for 2.5 million distinct goods.
The idea to create the index occurred to Adobe after looking at the amount of holiday pricing data it had after the holiday season two years ago.