Google is using its vast database of web shopping data to construct the ‘Google Price Index’ – a daily measure of inflation that could one day provide an alternative to official statistics.
The work by Google’s chief economist, Hal Varian, highlights how economic data can be gathered far more rapidly using online sources. The official Consumer Price Index data are collected by hand from shops, and only published monthly with a time lag of several weeks.
I’m still trying to recover from the shock of reading that the Consumer Price Index is collected BY [FREAKING] HAND from shops and “…with a time lag of several weeks”.
This is why Government needs to get out of everything that’s not purely a government function (e.g. law enforcement, judicial, military). This is stupefyingly shocking to me.