NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Laura Feiveson

Federal Reserve Board
20th & Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20551

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Federal Reserve Board

NBER Working Papers and Publications

September 2019From Transactions Data to Economic Statistics: Constructing Real-time, High-frequency, Geographic Measures of Consumer Spending
with Aditya Aladangady, Shifrah Aron-Dine, Wendy Dunn, Paul Lengermann, Claudia Sahm: w26253
Access to timely information on consumer spending is important to economic policymakers. The Census Bureau’s monthly retail trade survey is a primary source for monitoring consumer spending nationally, but it is not well suited to study localized or short-lived economic shocks. Moreover, lags in the publication of the Census estimates and subsequent, sometimes large, revisions diminish its usefulness for real-time analysis. Expanding the Census survey to include higher frequencies and subnational detail would be costly and would add substantially to respondent burden. We take an alternative approach to fill these information gaps. Using anonymized transactions data from a large electronic payments technology company, we create daily estimates of retail spending at detailed geographies. Our...
July 2019From Transactions Data to Economic Statistics: Constructing Real-Time, High-Frequency, Geographic Measures of Consumer Spending
with Aditya Aladangady, Shifrah Aron-Dine, Wendy Dunn, Paul Lengermann, Claudia Sahm
in Big Data for 21st Century Economic Statistics, Katharine G. Abraham, Ron S. Jarmin, Brian Moyer, and Matthew D. Shapiro
Access to timely information on consumer spending is important to economic policymakers. The Census Bureau’s monthly retail trade survey is a primary source for monitoring consumer spending nationally, but it is not well suited to study localized or short-lived economic shocks. Moreover, lags in the publication of the Census estimates and subsequent, sometimes large, revisions diminish its usefulness for real-time analysis. Expanding the Census survey to include higher frequencies and subnational detail would be costly and would add substantially to respondent burden. We take an alternative approach to fill these information gaps. Using anonymized transactions data from a large electronic payments technology company, we create daily estimates of retail spending at detailed geographies. Our...
 
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