Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why am I receiving this request for price data?

  • An official of your company agreed to participate in the Bureau of Labor Statistics survey after being contacted by a BLS field economist.

Why was my company chosen for the survey?

  • For any given industry, producers or service providers are selected for the survey via a systematic sampling from a listing of all firms that file with the Unemployment Insurance System. Typically, a firm's probability of selection is based on its employment size.

My prices only change once per year so why do I need to report data every month?

  • The reporting of unchanged prices is just as important as reporting changing prices, since index movement is calculated based on the weighted changes for all items in the index. If unchanged prices were not reported, price movements would be estimated using the price changes that were reported and therefore may not accurately reflect price movement for the industry. Additionally, even though the price has not changed, it is important to verify that the product specifications have not changed either. Product specifications include the terms of transaction and product or service description. Any change to the product or service must be evaluated by a PPI economist to determine whether an adjustment must be made to the reported price.

When is the deadline for submitting my data?

  • Data must be received by the last business day of the month in order to be included in the current month's indexes. However, the PPI has a four month revision period to incorporate late or revised data.

Who do I contact if I have questions about reporting data through the BLS secure website?

  • Logon through our secure survey site. On the welcome screen, under the frame that displays the requested items, there are two bullet points. The first provides a link to a help request form for technical difficulties. The second provides the direct phone line for the analyst assigned to your establishment. Contact information is also available online by industry description. If you are unable to locate contact information for the analyst assigned to your industry, feel free to call the PPI general information line at 202-691-7705.

Where can I find published PPI data?

  • The monthly PPI Detailed Report is the most comprehensive publication on producer prices, containing all aggregate industry level and detailed commodity level indexes, as well as text, tables, notes, and special articles.
  • Selected PPI indexes, as well as occasional technical and analytical articles on the PPI, are published in the Monthly Labor Review.
  • Periodic PPI data analysis, along with a short informative article, is published in PPI Quarterly Topical Articles.
  • Electronic access to PPI data is available through online databases in html, text, and Excel format.

Can I provide data in alternate ways?

  • The easiest and most secure way to provide data is through the BLS secure website. The website allows you to access and edit the details and price information for the requested products or services. If you are unable to utilize the web-based reporting system, you may submit data via mail or fax. To change the method in which you report, contact your assigned PPI economist. If you report data through the web, contact information for your assigned analyst is under the frame on the welcome screen that displays the items you price, beside the second bullet listed. If you provide data by mail or fax, this contact information is under the section titled "Instructions" in the top left-hand corner of your form.

Where should I return completed paper forms?

  • If you receive forms via fax, please fax the completed forms, within five business days, to the fax number provided on the left side of the repricing form. If you receive forms by traditional mail, you may either fax the form to the number provided on the left side of the repricing form, or mail your completed forms back to the BLS in the prepaid, addressed envelope provided. If you experience difficulty returning completed forms, please call the contact listed on the left side of the form, above the fax number, for assistance.

Who do I contact if I have questions about filling out the form by mail or fax?

  • In the top left-hand corner of the form you will see a section titled “Instructions.” This is where you will find the name and phone number of the economist who you may call (collect) if you have any questions. Contact information is also available online by industry description. If you are still unable to locate contact information for the analyst assigned to your industry, feel free to call the PPI general information line at 202-691-7705.

How long will I have to participate in this survey?

  • The length of participation will vary from one industry to another but the average period of participation is 7-8 years.

For further information visit the PPI Homepage or contact the PPI Section of Index Analysis and Public Information at (202) 691-7705 or ppi-info@bls.gov.

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Last Modified Date: September 21, 2012