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Import/Export Price Indexes

Import/Export Price Indexes (MXP) Methodology

Bureau of Labor Statistics Handbook of Methods

The BLS Handbook of Methods presents detailed explanations of how the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) obtains and prepares the economic data it publishes. BLS statistics are used for many purposes, and sometimes data well suited to one purpose may have limitations for another. This publication aims to provide users of BLS data with the most current information necessary to evaluate the suitability of the statistics for their needs. Information, a program overview, concepts, data sources, design, calculation, presentation, and history are located in the BLS Handbook of Methods.

Additional information is available in the Addendum and Technical Note.

Explanation of Import and Export Price Index Series Codes

The series codes for the following classification systems are shown below.

Classification System

Series Code

BEA End Use















Comparing MXP to other BLS Price and Spending Programs:

View the OPLC Program Comparison Table

This table describes the main characteristics of the price and spending measures produced by BLS: the Consumer Price Index (CPI), Producer Price Index (PPI), Import and Export Price Indexes (MXP), and the Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE). This table is intended to provide users a basic understanding of what the surveys measure and the primary uses of the measures.

Variance Statistics

In order to help users assess the precision of the U.S. import and export price index series, BLS provides variance estimates for these figures. Previously, the data were only calculated for the all-import and all-export series. Beginning in 2019, the published variance estimates became available at a more detailed level.


How MXP Measures Price Changes for Select Goods and Services:

Methodology Reports

  • The Pharmaceutical Industry: An Overview of CPI, PPI, and IPP Methodology (2011) (PDF)

Supplemental Materials

  • Overview Pamphlet (PDF)
  • Contract Escalation Pamphlet (PDF)


Last Modified Date: July 20, 2023