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   Comparing Sources Of Retail-Meat Price Data
by Staff Reporter,
Posted: Friday, November 20, 2009 at 10:55AM EST

A recent USDA study compared the relative advantages of meat-price data from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics with that from point-of-purchase scanners in grocery stores.  

Recent legislation required USDA to investigate the use of an alternative source of data on retail meat prices. The purpose of the legislation was to address livestock industry concerns regarding the quality of retail meat price data used by ERS. This report compares average retail prices calculated using data from BLS with data from grocery stores using point-of-purchase scanners to record prices. It analyzes the value of both data sets in forecasting near-term market conditions.  

The study found that BLS data and scanner data have relative strengths. BLS data have several advantages over scanner data:  

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