I came across an article in the FT from 1981 which talked about the Mars Bar Index, where the price of a Mars Bar is used as an economic indicator. This got me thinking about other economic indicators and if these could be related to the price of a stamp and therefore be used to understand the relative value of the postal service.
In 1986 the Economist came up with a similar concept but this time using the price of a MacDonalds Big Mac Index as a global economic indicator - looking across the world at the relative price of a Big Mac and then relating it to earnings etc.
So here is my take on it and I would welcome your comments and thoughts. In the table I have pulled together the MBI and the BMI and then related them to the price of a first class stamp. As you can see the number of stamps that can be bought for the price of a Big Mac has reduced from 8 in 2002 to 6 in 2009 a significant decrease in value. This I have termed the BMS (Big Mac Stamp Index) Index.
When we look at the Mars Bar Index I have taken the price per gram as an indicator and factored this against the price of a first class stamp and as you can see using this metric the stamp fairs better and the relationship remains fairly constant over the period.
One of the things I have found difficult us finding the cost of a first class stamp on the web pre 2002 so if you have and information on this I would be interested so I can complete the table.
Do you think this is a viable indicator? Are there other indicators that could be used?
Although this posting talks about relating these factors to mail could they be related to other areas?