YOUR Google search or a tweet about your job is part of a vast trove of private economic information that might help Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen and her colleagues get a more complete picture of where the economy is headed.
Economists at the Fed are looking into whether non-traditional data could improve the accuracy and timeliness of the forecasts that they put before monetary policy decision makers every six weeks or so. First, though, they want to be satisfied about the quality and reliability of the information.
The project comes as digital information about the economy is exploding. Companies post billions of prices online for everything from milk to haircuts, and households...