Prices and Cost of Living Data

To provide statistical data for assisting in the evaluation of consumer, producer, export and import prices and price changes, and consumer expenditures.

Agency - Department of Labor

The Department of Labor fosters and promotes the welfare of job seekers, wage earners and retirees by improving their working conditions, advancing their opportunities, protecting their retirement and health benefits and generally protecting worker rights and monitoring national economic measures.

Office - Contact the nearest regional office of the Bureau of Labor Statistics listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.
Website Address

Program Accomplishments

In fiscal year 2008, the Consumer Price Indexes (CPI), Producer Price Indexes (PPI), International Price Indexes (IPP), and Consumer Expenditure Surveys (CE) continue, as will regular publication of data from these price statistics programs. During 2008, the CPI program will continue publication of the new superlative measure of changes in living costs. The new measure more fully reflects the impact of changes in relative prices on consumers. IPP will have offered its new web-based repricing collection to 95 percent of its respondents by the end of 2008. PPI expanded its coverage of the service sector to include management consulting, blood banks, computer training schools, and industrial machinery equipment and repair. PPI completed a major quality improvement initiative to implement a probability-based methodology for prescription drugs. Coverage in the PPI also expanded with the publication of the new office construction index. In 2008, the CE added questions about the new tax rebate and began collecting the data, revised and tested changes to the upcoming 2009 Interview questionnaire.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Provides for Consumer Price Indexes (CPI) which measure changes in prices of goods and services consumed by all urban households as well as urban wage earners and clerical workers.

As the basis for most estimates of changes in the purchasing power of the consumer's dollar, the CPI is a major economic indicator and has widespread use in escalation adjustments in both private and public sectors.

Provides for Producer Price Indexes (PPI) which measure average changes in selling prices received by domestic producers for their output and which are widely cited within price escalation clauses of long term sales contracts to protect both parties against inflation.

Provides Export and Import Price Indexes to measure the effect of international trade prices on U. S. economy.

The Consumer Expenditure (CE) Surveys provide periodic updates to the market basket and the weights used to calculate the CPI.

In addition, the CE supplies information on consumers' spending and income by characteristics such as income, age, race, family size, and region.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Request for information may be made by the general public.

Beneficiary Eligibility

General public.



Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination


This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

Requests for information and assistance may be made to the nearest regional office of the Bureau of Labor Statistics listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Award Procedures

Not applicable.




Public Laws 62-426, 71-537, and 94-206, 29 U.S.C. 1-2.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Not applicable.


Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Not applicable.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Not applicable.

Post Assistance Requirements


Not applicable.


Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Salaries and Expenses) FY 07 $177,796,698; FY 08 est $177,986,000; and FY 09 est $198,464,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Not applicable.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

"Consumer Price Index"; "Producer Price Index"; "Export Price Index"; "Import Price Index"; "Consumer Expenditure Survey," "Monthly Labor Review"; "BLS Handbook of Methods," BLS Bulletin 2490; "Major Programs of the Bureau of Labor Statistics"; "Publications of the Bureau of Labor Statistics."

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Contact the nearest regional office of the Bureau of Labor Statistics listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Headquarters Office

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Prices and Living Conditions, Washington, DC 20212. Telephone: (202) 691-6960. Contact: Michael W. Horrigan.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not applicable.

Social Entrepreneurship

Hugh Jackman: Fair Trade Entrepreneur

Renowned actor, Hugh Jackman, talks about how he started becoming a fair trade entrepreneur. Jackman is constantly building up ideas and solutions to help small coffee growers get good prices outside the massive coffee industry. His business,  Laughing Man Worldwide, reinvests 100% of its profits in its partnerships with farmers.

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Edited by: Michael Saunders

© 2004-2023 Copyright Michael Saunders