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Comparing Two Sources of Retail Meat Price Data


  • Hahn, William F.
  • Perry, Janet E.
  • Southard, Leland W.


The livestock industry uses information on meat prices at different stages in the marketing system to make production decisions. When grocery stores began using electronic scanners to capture prices paid for meat, it was assumed that the livestock industry could capitalize on having these point-of-sale data available as a measure of the value of its products. This report compares scanner price data with publicly available data collected by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Of the two data types, scanner data provide more information about retail meat markets, including a wider variety of meat-cut prices, multiple measures of an average price, the volume of sales, and the relative importance of discounted prices. The scanner data sample, however, is not statistically drawn, and complicated processing requirements delay its release, which makes scanner data less useful than BLS data for analyzing current market conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Hahn, William F. & Perry, Janet E. & Southard, Leland W., 2009. "Comparing Two Sources of Retail Meat Price Data," Economic Research Report 55958, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uersrr:55958

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Reint Gropp & Arjan Kadareja, 2012. "Stale Information, Shocks, and Volatility," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44(6), pages 1117-1149, September.
    2. Durbin, James & Koopman, Siem Jan, 2012. "Time Series Analysis by State Space Methods," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780199641178.
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