Online prices in May fell 2.3 percent year-over-year, marking “the most significant” decrease since the pandemic started, Adobe reported Monday.
The software giant indicated that May 2023 represented the ninth consecutive month of year-over-year price decreases online.
There were “steep drops” in discretionary categories including computers, which were down 16.5 percent year-over-year and 2.4 percent month-over-month. Electronics prices online were down 12 percent year-over-year and 1.8 percent month-over-month, and appliances prices dropped 7.9 percent year-over-year and 2.4 percent month-over-month.
Unfortunately for consumers, grocery prices online continue to rise but at slower rates. According to Adobe, grocery prices were up 8.2 percent year-over-year and 0.3 percent month-over-month. That compares to April’s 9.3 percent increase in grocery prices year-over-year, and marks the eighth consecutive month where year-over-year increases for groceries have decelerated from September 2022’s record high, when prices rose 14.3 percent year-over-year.
Apparel prices online rose 6.38 percent year-over-year, but dropped 1.3 percent month-to-month.
Jewelry prices fell 2.6 percent year-over-year but rose 0.29 percent month-to-month.
Sporting goods prices fell 7.4 percent year-over-year, and 3.8 percent month-to-month.
Adobe said that 11 of the 18 categories it tracks fell in prices on an annual basis. On a month-over-month basis, online prices fell 1.2 percent in May.
In the personal care category, online prices were up 2.7 percent year-over-year and were down 0.3 percent month-over-month. In April, prices for personal care were up 3 percent year-over-year. In March, they were up 4.4 percent.
Powered by Adobe Analytics, the Digital Price Index analyzes 1 trillion visits to retail sites and more than 100 million stock keeping units across 18 product categories: electronics, apparel, appliances, books, toys, computers, groceries, furniture/bedding, tools/home improvement, home/garden, pet products, jewelry, medical equipment/supplies, sporting goods, personal care products, flowers/related gifts, non-prescription drugs and office supplies.
In May, 11 of the DPI’s 18 categories saw year-over-year price decreases, with the largest drop in the flowers/related gifts category, down 27.8 percent year-over-year (and 0.3 percent month-over-month). By contrast, seven categories experienced year-over-year price increases in May, including personal care, pet products, groceries, non-prescription drugs, tools/home improvement, medical equipment/supplies and apparel.
In the home and garden category, prices were down 6.3 percent year-over-year and 0.9 percent month-over-month.
The DPI is modeled after the Consumer Price Index, published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and uses the Fisher Price Index to track online prices. Adobe uses a combination of Adobe Sensei, Adobe’s AI and machine learning framework, and manual effort to segment the products into the categories defined by the CPI. The methodology was first developed alongside renowned economists Austan Goolsbee and Pete Klenow.