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Nowcasting inflation with high-frequency data

Global supply shortages and pandemic-driven stimulus measures have been fueling prices in many major economies. Some economists are even starting to throw down terms like ‘stagflation’ and ‘wage-inflation spiral’. Are these price spikes temporary? Or are they a reflection of longer-term price trends? In this report, we summarize the alternative datasets that can help nowcast CPI figures and determine whether we have entered a new era of inflation.

In the US, inflation reached 5.4% in July – the highest rate since 2008. Meanwhile, in the UK, August’s figures rose to 3.2%, and is expected to exceed 4% by the end of the year. While some prices are leveling off, the transitory vs. sticky-price debate has become a central focus across markets and policymakers. Can high-frequency alternative data sources tell us how long inflation will stay?

In this report, we summarize the datasets that offer insights into short and long-term inflation trends. These sources include a mix of 1) prebuilt inflation signals released ahead of official statistics, and 2) the datasets that can be used as components for CPI modeling.

INFLATION SIGNALS                                              

Readers looking for ready-made inflation signals may be interested in the following data vendors:

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Julia Asri Meigh VP of ESG Research (London)

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