Import and Export Prices

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Definition of 'Import and Export Prices'

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) at the United States Department of Labor releases this report in the middle of each month. The data is for the previous month. January's figures are release in mid-February.

The U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes measure average changes in prices of goods and services that are imported or exported. The indexes are produced monthly by the International Price Program (IPP) of the BLS. The Import and Export Price Indexes have been published monthly since 1989. Prior to this, the indexes were produced on a quarterly basis beginning in 1974.

The target universe of the import and export price indexes consist of all goods and services sold by U.S. residents to foreign buyers (exports) and purchased from abroad by U.S. residents (imports).

Items such as works of art are difficult to obtain consistent core comparable products over time and so these are excluded. Open market military goods are included but exclusive military goods (i.e. not free market military goods) are excluded.

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