Minding Your Ps and Qs: Going from Micro to Macro in Measuring Prices and Quantities
20 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2019 Last revised: 5 Feb 2019
Date Written: January 2019
Key macro indicators such as output, productivity, and inflation are based on a complex system across multiple statistical agencies using different samples and different levels of aggregation. The Census Bureau collects nominal sales, the Bureau of Labor Statistics collects prices, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis constructs nominal and real GDP using these data and other sources. The price and quantity data are integrated at a high level of aggregation. This paper explores alternative methods for re-engineering key national output and price indices using item-level data. Such re-engineering offers the promise of greatly improved key economic indicators along many dimensions.
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