Online Prices Fall 1.9% in November, the Steepest Annual Drop Since May 2020

Online prices in November dropped 1.9% year over year, the steepest annual drop in 31 months since May 2020, Adobe data found.

November online prices were down 3.2% compared with October, according to Adobe’s Digital Price Index (DPI), which measures inflation online. November marks the third month in row of online price declines compared to last year. Fifteen out of 18 categories that Adobe tracked saw price decreases in November compared to last month.

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In October 2022, online prices decreased 0.7% year-over-year but rose 0.3% from September.

November’s drop in online prices was largely driven by heavy discounting during Thanksgiving week and Cyber Monday. Prices for computers in November were down 18% year-over-year, and electronics prices were down 13.4% year-over-year, both marking the biggest annual drops since Adobe began tracking online price data in 2014. Prices for toys and sporting goods were also down year over year and month over month. In grocery, which typically does not see heavy discounting, prices were up 13.7% from 2021 and up 0.3% from October.

November generated $116.5 billion in e-commerce sales, up 1.7% from 2021 and up 62.5% compared to October. While this figure is not adjusted for inflation, the 1.9% drop in digital prices in November indicates that strong consumer spending was significantly driven by demand as well as higher prices.

November’s consumer price index, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ measure for general inflation, is set to be released on Dec. 13. Consumer prices rose by 7.7% in October compared to last year, according to the most recent report. Meanwhile, U.S. retail sales were $694.5 billion in October, up 1.3% from September.

Despite persisting inflation, holiday sales are predicted to grow over last year, though at a slower pace. Total sales between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 are expected to grow between 6% and 8% compared to 2021, according to the National Retail Federation. The growth would represent a total of between $942.6 billion and $960.4 billion in sales, on top of last year’s record-breaking 13.5% growth to $889.3 billion.

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