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Notice

Proposed Collection, Comment Request

Action

Notice.

Summary

The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a pre-clearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA95) [44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)]. This program helps to ensure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is soliciting comments concerning the proposed extension of the “Consumer Price Index Commodities and Services Survey.” A copy of the proposed information collection request (ICR) can be obtained by contacting the individual listed below in the ADDRESSES section of this notice.

 

Table of Contents Back to Top

DATES: Back to Top

Written comments must be submitted to the office listed in the Addresses section of this notice on or before March 24, 2008.

ADDRESSES: Back to Top

Send comments to Amy A. Hobby, BLS Clearance Officer, Division of Management Systems, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Room 4080, 2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE., Washington, DC 20212, 202-691-7628. (This is not a toll free number.)

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Back to Top

Amy A. Hobby, BLS Clearance Officer, 202-691-7628. (See ADDRESSES section.)

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Back to Top

I. Background Back to Top

Under the direction of the Secretary of Labor, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is directed by law to collect, collate, and report full and complete statistics on the conditions of labor and the products and distribution of the products of the same; the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is one of these statistics. The collection of data from a wide spectrum of retail establishments and government agencies is essential for the timely and accurate calculation of the Commodities and Services (CS) component of the CPI.

The CPI is the only index compiled by the U.S. Government that is designed to measure changes in the purchasing power of the urban consumer's dollar. The CPI is a measure of the average change in prices over time paid by urban consumers for a market basket of goods and services. The CPI is used most widely as a measure of inflation, and serves as an indicator of the effectiveness of government economic policy. It is also used as a deflator of other economic series, that is, to adjust other series for price changes and to translate these series into inflation-free dollars. Examples include retail sales, hourly and weekly earnings, and components of the Gross Domestic Product. A third major use of the CPI is to adjust income payments. Almost 2 million workers are covered by collective bargaining contracts, which provide for increases in wage rates based on increases in the CPI. Similarly, nine states have laws that link the adjustment in state minimum wage to the changes in the CPI. In addition to private sector workers whose wages or pensions are adjusted according to changes in the CPI, the index also affects the income of nearly 80 million persons, largely as a result of statutory action: About 53 million social security beneficiaries; about 4.5 million retired military and Federal Civil Service employees and survivors, and about 25.7 million food stamp recipients. Changes in the CPI also affect the 29.6 million children who eat lunch at school. Under the National School Lunch Act and Child Nutrition Act, national average payments for those lunches and breakfasts are adjusted annually by the Secretary of Agriculture on the basis of the change in the CPI series, “Food away from Home.” Since 1985, the CPI has been used to adjust the Federal income tax structure to prevent inflation-induced tax rate increases.

II. Current Action Back to Top

Office of Management and Budget clearance is being sought for the Consumer Price Index Commodities and Services Survey. The continuation of the collection of prices for the CPI is essential since the CPI is the nation's chief source of information on retail price changes. If the information on CS prices were not collected, Federal fiscal and monetary policies would be hampered due to the lack of information on price changes in a major sector of the U.S. economy, and estimates of the real value of the Gross National Product could not be made. The consequences to both the Federal and private sectors would be far reaching and would have serious repercussions on Federal government policy and institutions.

III. Desired Focus of Comments Back to Top

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is particularly interested in comments that:

  • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility.
  • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used.
  • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected.
  • Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

Type of Review: Extension without change of a currently approved collection.

Agency: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Title: Consumer Price Index Commodities and Services Survey.

OMB Number: 1220-0039.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit; not for profit institutions; and State, Local or Tribal Government.

Total respondents Frequency Total responses Average time per response Estimated total burden
PRICING 37,000 8.7838 325,000 0.33 107,250
OUTLET ROTATION: Ongoing and Geographical 15,000 1 15,000 1.0 15,000
ITEM ROTATION 1,600 1 1,600 1.0 1,600
Total 53,600 n/a 341,600 n/a 123,850

Total Burden Cost (capital/startup):$0.0.

Total Burden Cost (operating/maintenance):$0.0.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval of the information collection request; they also will become a matter of public record.

Signed at Washington, DC, this 15th day of January 2008.

Cathy Kazanowski,

Chief, Division of Management Systems, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

[FR Doc. E8-945 Filed 1-18-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-24-P

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