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Expand chart
Data: Adobe Digital Economy Index; Chart: Connor Rothschild/Axios

The deals you’re getting online may not be as good as what you were getting a year ago.

Why it matters: Shoppers have long understood that it’s cheaper to buy goods online than in brick-and-mortar stores.

  • Up until 2019, the prices for goods online had actually been falling for years.

By the numbers: Adobe Analytics analyzed the online purchasing data of more than 1 trillion visits to U.S. retail websites.

  • Online prices declined steadily from 2015 to 2019, falling 3.9% per year on average.
  • However, online prices in June increased by 2.3% from a year ago.
  • While the number is up, it’s still lower than the historic 5.4% jump in the U.S. Consumer Price Index during the same period.
  • Leading the online price gains were apparel, which was up 16.2%, and nonprescription drugs, which were up 4%.
  • Though, online computer prices fell 9.6%, and online toy prices declined by 4.2%.

State of play: Shorter-term measures suggest prices remain on an upward trajectory. Online prices were up 1.2% month-over-month. This compares to CPI, which was up 0.9% during the period.

The big picture: Behind all of the inflation figures — both online and offline — are shortages that are plaguing almost every industry as the reopened economy has come with demand far outstripping supply.

The bottom line: Companies will continue to try to steal customers from each other by offering lower prices, and they’ll aim to do it profitably by cutting costs and making their operations more streamlined. But there’s not much they can do with pricing when margins are already thin and costs are rising.

Go deeper

Retail sales rise 0.7% in September from August

Data: St. Louis Fed via FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. retail sales rose in September as a result of higher gas and auto dealership sales, according to data released on Friday by the Department of Commerce.

The big picture: Higher retail sales may have been the effect of consumers buying early for the holidays out of fear of supply shortages.

3 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes mix-and-match for COVID booster shots

Photo: Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) on Wednesday gave its approval for Americans to get booster shots that are different from the COVID vaccine they initially received.

Why it matters: The recommendation from the FDA, which also authorized booster shots for people who received Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines on Wednesday, paves the way for an expansion of booster shots.

GOP congressman forfeits committee seats after indictment

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) on Wednesday stepped down from his committee assignments after being indicted for lying to federal investigators amid a probe into illegal campaign donations.

What they're saying: In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Fortenberry said he is "grateful for the outpouring of support from my friends and colleagues as we work against the injustice confronting me."