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October 1997

Are producer prices good proxies for export prices?

William Alterman

Results of a recent study show that producer price indexes remain imperfect measures of export price trends. The Producer Price Index measures price changes in a domestic industry's total output, while the Export Price Index measures price changes of only those goods that are physically shipped out of the country. Even though nearly all companies, products, and prices that make up the universe of U.S. exporters are also found in the universe of U.S. domestic producers, major conceptual and methodological differences underlie the lack of a proxy relationship between the two series.

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