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Holiday discounting drives sharp drop in U.S. online prices again

Dec. 8, 2022 Updated Thu., Dec. 8, 2022 at 6:46 p.m.

Workers take a break at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Moreno Valley, Calif., on Sept. 29, 2021.  (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times )
Workers take a break at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Moreno Valley, Calif., on Sept. 29, 2021. (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times )
By Alex Tanzi Bloomberg

A record drop in the prices of computers and electronics sold online in the U.S. caused a sharp 1.9% annual decline in online prices last month, according to Adobe Inc.

For the third consecutive month, online prices fell from a year earlier, Adobe said Thursday, as firms have been heavy discounting goods to move merchandise.

On a monthly basis, prices fell 3.2% month-over-month last month.

Online prices for computers dropped 18% from a year earlier and were down 5.1% from October, and electronics fell a record 13.4% on an annual basis, the most since Adobe began tracking online prices in 2014.

A few categories remain resilient to disinflationary forces. Price increases were seen in three categories: groceries, nonprescription drugs, and medical equipment/supplies last month.

Still, these categories, which are not promotional in nature, are seeing the rate of price increases come down from the late summer pace, said Patrick Brown, Adobe vice president of growth marketing and insights.

In total, half of the 18 categories tracked by Adobe’s Digital Price Index saw prices decrease year-over-year and 15 of the 18 saw prices fell month-on-month. Adobe’s figures are not adjusted for inflation.

The index was developed for Adobe in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s incoming president Austan Goolsbee, who takes office on Jan. 9.

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