Providing Data for the PPI
Once an establishment agrees to participate in the survey, the BLS field economist records the product or service descriptions and terms of transactions which are to be priced through time, as well as the designated reporting official's contact information, on the PPI Survey Initiation Checklist (BLS Form 1810E). All of the information provided during initiation is entered in the secure PPI database and later reviewed by BLS staff to ensure consistency and completeness.
Next, the respondent is set up with an account for providing updated data through the secure web portal, the BLS Internet Data Collection Facility (IDCF). This portal is the fastest and most secure way to transmit data for respondents. (Click here for a demonstration of reporting your data through the website.) Requests for price data are sent to the reporting official on an agreed-upon schedule—usually monthly—to obtain updated information. Data provided are automatically transmitted into the PPI database. Changes to item descriptions, changes to transaction terms, or large price changes are referred to PPI economists for review. Each respondent has an assigned PPI economist to assist them in their survey participation, as well as provide general assistance with PPI data, as requested. ( Click here for PPI contact information.)
These steps make possible the collection and processing of the current prices of more than 100,000 items, as well as any changes in the price-determining characteristics of those items, for inclusion in PPIs. Using data verified in the previous steps, the PPI electronic estimation system then calculates indexes. Finally, a variety of outputs are generated for the online database and statistical tables are created and verified.
The publication of company-specific data in identifiable form is prohibited in the statistical and research work of the BLS. Data from firms participating in the PPI survey are protected to ensure the respondent’s confidentiality even within the BLS, so that only those staff members with an absolute need to know can identify a respondent. Furthermore, the BLS has publication criteria that prevent the inadvertent revelation of a respondent’s identity to the public through movements in a published index. Automated data-processing systems protect the confidentiality of data supplied by respondents, as well as facilitate the accuracy and timeliness of published PPI data.
Last Modified Date: January 30, 2018