Tapping into its deep pool of data from price-paid and “actual quantities sold,” Adobe said in its most recent Digital Price Index report that the consumer goods sector is experiencing price deflation.
Some segments such as airline flights and hotel stays are rising. This follows a broader trend of consumers who are spending more on experiences, which require travel. The data suggests companies are taking advantage of the greater demand to nudge up prices.
Adobe said its May DPI “unveiled deflation in the majority of the consumer goods it tracks and low-cost items saw the greatest price drops year-over-year with the exception of TVs.” The DPI culls data from 15 billion web site visits as well as 2.2 million products that are sold online.
Adobe said year-over-year, price points on the most expensive TVs “dropped much faster than the cheapest TVs [26.0 percent versus 15.0 percent].” And by contrast, the company said its DPI showed that “low-cost computers saw faster deflation than high-end computers [15.0 percent versus 4.0 percent].”
The company said appliances, computers, furniture, food, sporting goods and TVs all experienced month-over-month deflation that was between 0.2 and 3.7 percent. “Between April 2015 and April 2016, the DPI found that prices for appliances, computers, flights, furniture, sporting goods, TVs and toys dropped between 2.8 and 19.7 percent,” the company noted. Adobe did not disclose prices for apparel or accessories, but recent government figures showed declines in the apparel segment.
Adobe’s results for May, which are based on more data points than what the federal government uses, compares to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index that showed year-over-year deflation of between 0.3 and 16.1 percent for the categories cited by Adobe.
Mickey Mericle, vice president of marketing and customer insights at Adobe, said her firm “tracks nearly 30 times the number of consumer goods as the CPI, along with over one billion visits to job search web sites and over two billion visits to housing search web sites. This tremendous amount of data reveals further deflation, higher unemployment and more weakness in the housing market than current reports suggest.”
Regarding airfares, the DPI showed prices rising 4.1 percent month over month with Texas, California and Florida seeing the most inflation. Hotel prices increased 0.7 percent in the same period.
Adobe’s DPI is part of its “Digital Economy Project,” which includes a Digital Housing Index and a Job Seeking Index. For May, the JSI increased, “a sign that more people are looking for jobs,” the company said adding that the JSI is “based on analysis of aggregated and anonymous data of one billion visits to U.S. job search web sites and top U.S. employer career pages from May 2015 through May 2016.”