Adobe Data Shows U.K. Retail Sales Drop Following Brexit
Friday, September 23, 2016 5:00 am EDT
Online Pricing Data for August Shows
Continued Deflation in the U.K. and U.S.; Adobe
Also Collaborates with U.K.’s Office for
National Statistics (ONS)
Public Company Information:
"The Adobe DPI data suggest that
prices for groceries and electronics did not change
significantly. It will be important to keep monitoring the
data in the months ahead."
SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS
)--Adobe (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced the release
of its monthly Digital Price Index (DPI) for August. For the
first time, Adobe released online sales and pricing data for
TVs, computers and groceries in the U.K. Prices across
categories declined and online sales for durable goods like
computers and TVs dropped sharply Year-over-Year (YoY).
While demand in both categories was up in May and June YoY -
33.0 and 28.0 percent respectively - growth in July slowed
to 16.0 percent and turned negative in August with a 10.0
percent YoY decrease in sales, likely due to Brexit and
other factors driving uncertainty in Europe. Demand in the
U.S. in the same categories saw strong growth in July and
August with 33.7 and 30.2 percent increases, respectively.
As they did in the U.S., prices in the U.K. continued to
decline. The DPI shows 13.4 and 2.7 percent deflation YoY
for computers and groceries respectively, while TVs saw
minor deflation at 0.5 percent YoY. Additionally, London
flights and hotel prices increased slightly and showed signs
of stabilization, but remained much lower than last year.
Following two months of consecutive deflation after the
Brexit referendum, London airfares rose 3.1 percent
Month-over-Month (MoM) and are down by 1.0 percent YoY.
Hotel prices in London declined a nominal 0.8 percent MoM,
but are down 16.0 percent YoY.
DPI data across specific product categories indicates
connected economies in which prices rise and fall. TVs,
computers and other durable goods saw a 60.0 percent
correlation between prices in the U.K. and U.S. Non-durable
goods like groceries, which rely much less on imports, saw
less correlation (20.0 percent) between both countries.
Adobe is collaborating with the Office for National
Statistics (ONS) as part of its effort to develop a global
methodology for the DPI.
Adobe leverages machine learning in Adobe Marketing Cloud
to surface economic insights from billions of data points.
By tracking seven dollars and fifty cents out of every ten
dollars spent online with the top 500 U.S. retailers* and
over six dollars out of every ten dollars spent online with
the top 100 European retailers,** the DPI is able to analyze
billions of digital transactions. Adobe is the first company
to conduct a digital-centric analysis based on real-time
access to price-paid data and actual quantities sold. Unlike
other models, Adobe Digital Insights leverages the Fisher
Ideal Price method, which uses actual quantities purchased
to measure inflation and is recognized by leading economists
as the gold standard for the calculation of inflation. To
produce the August DPI, Adobe analyzed 15 billion U.S.
website visits, 3 billion U.K. website visits and online
transactions for over 2.4 million different products.
“There has been little good, micro-level data on the real
economy in the U.K. to help us understand the impact of the
Brexit vote,” said Austan Goolsbee, professor of economics,
The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and
former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers for
President Obama. “The Adobe DPI data suggest that prices for
groceries and electronics did not change significantly. It
will be important to keep monitoring the data in the months
“New data sources such as those being used by Adobe
provide innovative ways to understand our increasingly
digital economy in real time,” said Jonathan Athow, deputy
national statistician, U.K. Office for National Statistics.
“Many of these opportunities will be realised by bringing
together independent, official statisticians and others in
the U.K. and across the world who are using these new data
sources and techniques.”
“We may be seeing early signs of hesitancy in spending on
durable goods in the U.K., whereas spending remains stable
for essential goods like groceries,” said Mickey Mericle,
vice president, Marketing and Customer Insights at Adobe.
“It will take time to fully grasp Brexit’s effect on the
economy and as we expand the U.K. data we’re incorporating
in the DPI, we expect to uncover more trends. We are also
excited to start working with government agencies like the
ONS to further refine the methodology and surface more
U.S. Inflation Data
For electronics, nonprescription drugs, flights and
hotels, the U.S. saw continued deflation MoM. Appliances and
furniture saw seasonal increases MoM - 1.8 percent and 0.2
percent, respectively. This inflation is likely due to
increased demand for back-to-school and upcoming Labor Day
sales. Grocery prices remained stable after five months of
consecutive decline while toys saw price inflation. Pokémon
merchandise saw 4.4 percent inflation MoM., after falling
2.9 percent in July. Demand for Pokémon items increased
227.0 percent YoY since the launch of Pokémon Go (July 6
through August 31).
Latest U.S. findings include:
- Groceries: The DPI
reports that prices were stagnant MoM for groceries
after five months of deflation, with a 0.9 percent
decrease YoY. In July, the DPI saw prices drop 0.8
percent YoY, while the CPI reported a 1.6 percent
deflation during the same time period. DPI data covers
20 to 30 percent of online grocery transactions for
approximately 195,000 products, and is heavily comprised
of groceries purchased online picked up in-store.
- Toys: In August,
prices for toys rose 0.3 percent. The DPI showed U.S.
prices dropped 6.0 percent YoY in July, whereas the CPI
reported 9.3 percent deflation. Data contains
transactions for approximately 249,000 products,
including toys, games and playground equipment.
- Nonprescription Drugs:
Prices for nonprescription drugs decreased 0.8 percent
MoM. While the CPI reported prices dropped 1.6 percent
YoY in July, the DPI saw inflation of 0.1 percent during
the same time period. DPI findings are based on
transactions of 16,000 products.
- Electronics: In
August, prices for electronics continued to decrease.
The DPI reported 0.5 percent deflation MoM and 11.0
percent deflation YoY. The CPI, which does not break out
electronics overall, reported that prices fell 7.7
percent for computers and 20.0 percent YoY for TVs in
July. For that same time period, the DPI saw 12.8
percent deflation for computers. TV prices dropped 20.2
percent. Data is based on online transactions of one
million electronic products.
- Flights: Domestic
airfares decreased 3.4 percent MoM and 6.2 percent YoY.
Internationally, prices dropped significantly between
July and August at 4.3 percent. Additionally, the DPI
shows a 1.2 percent inflation YoY. Data is based on
approximately 370,000 flight routes.
- Hotels: Domestic
hotel prices saw 2.1 percent deflation MoM. While the
CPI reported no change in prices YoY in July, the DPI
saw a 2.2 percent increase during the same time period.
Internationally, hotels decreased 2.8 percent YoY. Data
is based on approximately 250,000 hotel properties and
includes associated fees.
- See more at: http://news.adobe.com/press-release/adobe-data-shows-uk-retail-sales-drop-following-brexit#sthash.oPuSc83W.dpuf
To Get to Mars, Head for the
October 14, 2016
Since the last mission to the moon, half a century ago, space
enthusiasts have been talking about a trip to Mars.
President Barack Obama this week reiterated the call for a U.S.
mission to Mars that he first proposed in April 2010. He called
for a partnership with private sector companies to develop the
means to send humans to and from Mars by the 2030s.
But a mission to Mars is fraught with challenges.
A major problem is radiation. Earth is protected from cosmic
rays by its magnetic field, but astronauts on a mission that
would take many months could suffer major health problems en
route as their vehicle is bombarded by radiation.
Another problem is political. Critics in the U.S. Congress want
to know why the country should spend billions of dollars to go
to Mars if there is no practical reason to do so. Private
companies may find some commercial value in a Mars adventure,
but skeptics question whether they can achieve their plans
without massive funding from the government.
Still another hurdle is the time scale, according to Paul Spudis
at the Houston-based Lunar and Planetary Institute.
“Any program where the payoff is 20 to 30 years in the future
is, effectively, a dead issue in Congress, he told VOA, “because
they do not deal in timescales like that. They deal in
timescales from two to 10 years.”
All of these problems with Mars are why some space experts are
returning to the idea of using the moon as a first step in
accomplishing a long-range plan to get to the red planet.
'Fly me to the moon'
During the administration of President George W. Bush, experts
developed a plan to return to the moon to test equipment for a
Mars mission. But that plan was later scrapped in favor of a
long-term project to go directly to Mars, even though it might
take 20 or 30 years to accomplish.
In his recently published book, “The Value of the Moon, How to
Explore, Live, and Prosper in Space Using the Moon’s Resources,”
Spudis makes the case for a moon base, partly because it is
relatively close by and is in continual orbit of earth.
“Effectively, you can get to the moon in a minimal amount of
time,” he said, “it is only three days to the moon and three
What’s more, he argues, previous NASA missions have shown that
the moon has useful resources, like frozen water at its poles.
“So, I have energy. I have materials. I can live on the moon. I
can make rocket propellant,” he said.
The rocket fuel would come from using electricity from a large
array of solar cells to break apart the two elements that make
“By taking the hydrogen and oxygen from cracking the water and
disassociating with electricity and then freezing those gases
into liquids that is the most powerful chemical propellant we
know of,” Spudis said.
Pros and cons
At a recent gathering of scientists and space enthusiasts at
Rice University for the “Lost in Space 2016” conference, there
was a lot of support for returning to the moon from people like
former NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao.
“We can train crews,” he said. “We don’t necessarily want the
first crew on Mars to be rookies. We can train crews on the
But Michael Lembeck, Board
Chairman of U.S. Space, LLC, favors using the moon as a staging
base and questions using it as a refueling station for a Mars
“If we talk about actually making the trip to Mars on chemical
propulsion that could be a dead end. We need high-speed
transportation,” he said.
But Paul Spudis argues that chemical fuel is well-tested and
available. “The fundamental problem with a lot of the advanced
propulsion systems, for example, the plasma rockets and nuclear
thermal propulsion, is that they require technology that we do
Spudis proposes a plan that would use robots to do much of the
preliminary work on the moon, starting with tests of the polar
“The next step, he said, “is to actually land a demonstration
experiment, where you show that you can dig up the ice. You can
extract it and store it as water. Once that is done, we will
have effectively demonstrated all the pieces we need to show
that we can go back to the moon to stay.”
to carry out such a plan either the United States, another
country with a space program or a private company would have to
commit to the project with a lot of money.
One use of the moon that might prove valuable in the nearer
term, according to Spudis is using a base on the moon to place
and maintain satellites in orbit in “cislunar” space, that is,
the space between the earth and the moon.
He said this could lead to big distributed communication systems
that would be far better than anything that exists today. Given
the importance satellites for modern life on earth, such use of
the moon might prove very cost effective.