New Adobe Digital Price Index: Online job searches slump, housing searches rise, digital prices decline

Adobe has crafted a new way to analyze the nation’s complex economy with its Digital Price Index, whose findings include fresh insights about online job hunting, Web-based searches for housing and price trends for digital items.

Over the last 12 months, online searches for jobs are on the decline, online searches for homes and apartments is rising, while prices for an array of digital items have slumped, according to the new index.

San Jose-based Adobe argues that its system of studying billions of visits to websites, along with transactions involving more than 1 million items that were bought online, can provide valuable insight into what’s going on with the nation’s economy.

“Digital is filling the gaps in traditional inflation reporting,” said Mickey Mericle, vice president of data insights at Adobe.

Adobe’s Digital Price Index analyzed 4 billion visits to websites and the sale of 1.2 million products, including electronics and groceries, the tech company said.

“Real-time, large scale product pricing data is an increasingly important tool to assess the state of the economy,” Mericle said. “The tremendous volume of e-commerce data enables us to unearth macro-economic trends more accurately than ever before.” Economists from Stanford University and the University of Chicago provided the analysis of the data.

Over the one-year period that ended in January, prices for electronics decreased 10.4 percent. Prices fell for televisions, computers, cameras and smartwatches, the Digital Price Index determined. Prices fell 19.4 percent for TVs, 13.1 percent for computers and 21.1 percent for tablets.

During the similar 12 months, prices for groceries rose 0.7 percent.

Online job hunting fell 10.4 percent, the survey found.

Searches conducted online for homes to purchase or apartments to rent jumped 20.5 percent over the 12 months that ended in January, the Digital Price Index determined.

The initial release of the Digital Price Index also detailed retail activity over the recently concluded Christmas shopping season.

“E-Commerce is outpacing traditional retail sales growth,” the Adobe survey found. Online sales grew 13 percent, while traditional retail sales grew 3 percent during the 2015 holiday shopping season compared with the same period the year before, Adobe’s survey found.


Photo: Adobe headquarters in downtown San Jose. (AP)


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