Thursday, February 17, 2011
By Paul Martin

by John Rubino
Wed, 16 Feb 2011

One of the disturbing things about trying to understand the US economy is the sense that official statistics don’t match personal experience. They seem to be lying to us, in other words, and more blatantly all the time; hence the popularity of honest analysts like John Williams at

Here’s another interesting alternative source, courtesy of Phil’s Stock World: theMIT Billion Price Project, which is an attempt to bring modern data mining to bear on consumer prices. As MIT explains its methodology:

Data collection: our data are collected every day from online retailers using a software that scans the underlying code in public webpages and stores the relevant price information in a database. The resulting dataset contains daily prices on the full array of products sold by these retailers. Our data include information on product descriptions, package sizes, brands, special characteristics (e.g. “organic”), and whether the item is on sale or price control.

The Rest…HERE

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