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Spotify downloads can give decision-makers an insight into consumer moods

That is the view of the Bank of England’s chief economist Andrew Haldane

He said that music data from Spotify was already being used by researchers

Tracking habits might offer clues into household spending patterns, he added

Music downloaded from Spotify can give decision-makers an insight into consumer moods, according to the Bank of England’s chief economist. Haldane said tracking online habits might offer clues into the spending patterns that influence the state of the economy.

In a speech published yesterday he said data on music downloads from Spotify was already being used by researchers to provide an indicator of household sentiment.

‘Intriguingly, the resulting index of sentiment does at least as well in tracking consumer spending as the Michigan survey of consumer confidence,’ he said, referring to an important monthly survey in the United States.

‘And why stop at music? People’s tastes in books, TV and radio may also offer a window on their soul.  So too might their taste in games.’

Not all attempts to harness online searches have proved successful. Google tried to predict flu outbreaks with little success, Mr Haldane said.

But he said some online multi-person games can test theories on how players respond to actions similar to those taken by central banks.

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