Comparing Sources Of Retail-Meat Price Data

A recent USDA study compared the relative advantages of meat-price data from
the U.S. Department of Labors 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

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

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