Friday, March 25, 2005

Virginia Postrel on inflation and 300 count sheets

Virginia Postrel's website, including her blog, is at www.dynamist.com
Quoth the maven:
EARLIER this month, Marriott International unveiled new designs for the rooms in its various hotel chains. These are not routine updates to replace worn-out furniture or carpets. They represent a significant shift from the cookie-cutter standardization that built Marriott into one of the world's largest hotel companies, to a new emphasis on aesthetics and personalization.
"It's a makeover," said a company spokesman, John Wolf.
--snip--
These upgrades present real problems for economists charged with tracking inflation. Hotels hope to sell their redesigned rooms at higher rates. If they succeed, should economists count those higher rates as contributing to inflation or simply as consumers' paying for more to get more value?
-- snip--
Money quote:
Measuring inflation, he acknowledges, "is more of an art than a science, unfortunately."
Read it all:
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/24/business/24scene.html?pagewanted=all&position=

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