Halloween is upon us─the only time children are encouraged to receive candy from total strangers. And it feels like this ritual is becoming more important every year, which might put pressure on the market for candy. FRED does not have data about candy sales, but it does have a price index for it. If we compare that index with the general consumer price index, maybe we can unearth something about our hypothesis.
It turns out this is a ghostly idea: There’s literally nothing to see. Candy price data start in December 1997; so, after setting both series to 100 at that date, the current numbers are virtually indistinguishable. This may be due to uncanny luck, as candy prices were at times as much as 10% below general prices, including at the end of the last economic boom. So maybe this shadowy idea about candy price pressure applies only to the time since the Great Recession. Or perhaps our hypothesis simply has no bearing on the price of candy because candy supply can easily accommodate fluctuations in demand. All in all, nothing scary to report.
How this graph was created: Search for “candy” and the candy price index should be your first choice. Then add the CPI series. Modify the latter’s units to show 100 in 1997-12-01.
Suggested by Christian Zimmermann