The Bank of England will study social networks like Facebook and Twitter to assess changes in finances and the job market and inform its decisions.
Sky News reports that the bank is setting up a taskforce that will monitor traffic on the social networks to look out for and predict future economic trends.
The bank's chief economist, Andy Haldane, told Sky that current systems might be showing their age, and suggested that the social networks could push things forward.
Haldane took on the role in the spring, and was charged with setting up a research hub.
"Official statistics tend to be lagging and tend to be revised. And what this scraping of the web can do is give us a better read on what's going on," he said.
Haldane added that the "informal sources" had shown their worth and "have been somewhat more reliable in picking up the uptick in the fortunes of the economy".
Haldane told the paper that the Bank of England is already using big data to analyse the mortgage market, and has enjoyed some success at reining in finances and spending.
"We have a new advanced analytics team who are constructing little models, algorithms and methods for extracting this data. We have a data lab. This is quite a big strategic change for the bank," he added. "This is going to be quite a big shift from the past."
The bank told V3 that it uses a wide range of data sources, official and informal, to build up the clearest and most up-to-date picture of the market.
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