July 24th, 2011
Econintersect: MIT's Billion Prices project - which collects data from on-line retailers released their data through the end of Jun2011 showing the annual inflation rate at 3.73% which compares well to the BLS Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of 3.6% (analysis here). This index is designed to provide real-time information on major inflation trends.
Online prices remained relatively stable during June, with a monthly inflation rate that fell until June 21st and then gradually increased at the end of the month. The annual inflation rate increased slightly to 3.73%, but remains in line with CPI estimates.
Follow up:The interesting part of the correlation is the massively different data set being used. MIT's Billion Points samples costs for goods (not services) on the internet - and its sampling base would be much less than 50% of the universe sampled by the BLS. Econintersect has previously shown a tight correlation between food prices only and the CPI (analysis here).