Online and Official Price Indexes: Measuring Argentina’s Inflation
39 Pages Posted: 2 May 2012 Last revised: 5 Nov 2012
Date Written: February 27, 2012
Prices collected from online retailers can be used to construct high-frequency price indexes that complement official statistics. This paper studies their ability to match official inflation estimates in five Latin American countries, with a focus on Argentina, where official statistics have been criticized in recent years. The data were collected between October 2007 and March 2011 from the largest online supermarkets in each of these countries. Online price indexes approximate both the level and main dynamics of official inflation in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Venezuela. By contrast, Argentina’s online annual inflation rate is consistently two to three times higher than in official estimates.
Keywords: Argentina, inflation, scraped online data, online price index
JEL Classification: E31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation