From booze to bulldozers, analysts scour for emerging market data

Emerging markets

State Street incorporated data on online shopping prices from US company PriceStats into its own research in 2011, covering many developed markets as well as emerging markets such as Russia, South Africa, and Latin American countries.

The regularly updated data acts effectively as a leading indicator for official inflation data, according to a State Street study based on US inflation.

In China, the surveys of food and supermarket prices show price deflation for most of December and January, in contrast to consensus expectations for inflation to quicken in China this year.

BlackRock, the world's largest fund manager, started its own sovereign risk indices in 2011 across major and emerging markets, amid concern about risk in many developed sovereigns.

"Our backtesting has shown that our index tends to highlight deteriorating fundamentals before the ratings agencies," said Thomas Christiansen, an investment strategist in the BlackRock Investment Institute.

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