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Notice

Proposed Collection, Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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. 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 without change of a currently approved collection for the “Producer Price Index” 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.

DATES:

Written comments must be submitted to the office listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice on or before July 11, 2017.

ADDRESSES:

Send comments to Nora Kincaid, BLS Clearance Officer, Division of Management Systems, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Room 4080, 2 Massachusetts Avenue NE., Washington, DC 20212. Written comments also may be transmitted by fax to 202-691-5111 (this is not a toll free number).

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Nora Kincaid, BLS Clearance Officer, at 202-691-7628 (this is not a toll free number). (See ADDRESSES section.)

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

The Producer Price Index (PPI), one of the Nation's leading economic indicators, is used as a measure of price movements, as an indicator of inflationary trends, for inventory valuation, and as a measure of purchasing power of the dollar at the primary-market level. It also is used for market and economic research and as a basis for escalation in long-term contracts and purchase agreements.

PPI data provide a description of the magnitude and composition of price change within the economy, and serve a wide range of governmental needs. This family of indexes are closely followed, monthly statistics which are viewed as sensitive indicators of the economic environment. Price data are vital in helping both the President and Congress set fiscal-spending targets. Producer prices are monitored by the Federal Reserve Board Open Market Committee to help decide monetary policy. Federal policy-makers at the Department of Treasury and the Council of Economic Advisors utilize these statistics to help form and evaluate monetary and fiscal measures and to help interpret the general business environment. In addition, it is common to find one or more PPIs, alone or in combination with other measures, used to escalate the delivered price of goods for government purchases.

In addition to governmental uses, PPI data are regularly put to use by the private sector. Private industry uses PPI data for contract price adjustment. For one particular method of tax-related Last-In-First-Out (LIFO) inventory accounting, the Internal Revenue Start Printed Page 22164Service suggests that firms use PPI data for making calculations. Private businesses make extensive use of industrial-price data for planning and operations. Price trends are used to assess the condition of markets. Firms commonly compare the prices they pay for material inputs as well as prices they receive for products that they make and sell with changes in similar PPIs.

Economic researchers and forecasters also put the PPI to regular use. PPIs are widely used to probe and measure the interaction of market forces. Some examples of research topics that require extensive price data include: The identification of varying price elasticities and the degree of cost pass-through in the economy, the identification of potential lead and lag structures among price changes, and the identification of prices which exert major impacts throughout market structures.

II. Current Action

Office of Management and Budget clearance is being sought for the PPI survey.

The PPI collection is not a one-time project with an end date. The purpose of the PPI collection is to accumulate data for the ongoing, monthly publication of the PPI family of indexes. The Bureau of Labor Statistics must continue collecting data for the PPI since both policy and business planning are affected by the completeness of the description of price trends. Dollar-denominated measures of economic performance, such as Gross Domestic Product, require accurate price data in order to convert nominal to constant-dollar values. Inflation-free national income accounting figures are vital to fiscal and monetary policy-makers when setting objectives and targets. It is conservatively estimated that hundreds-of-billions of dollars' worth of contracts and purchase agreements employ PPIs as part of price-adjustment clauses. Failure to calculate data would tend to extend the time frame required for accurate recognition of and appropriate adaptation to economic events.

III. Desired Focus of Comments

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: Producer Price Index Survey.

OMB Number: 1220-0008.

Affected Public: Private Sector.

FormTotal respondentsFrequencyTotal responsesAverage time per response (minutes)Estimated total burden (hours)
BLS 1810A, A1, B, C, C1, and E5,836once5,83612011,672
BLS 473P20,600monthly* 1,122,000593,500
Totals26,4361,127,836105,172
* For monthly repricing, PPI requests repricing of 93,500 items each month.

Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): $0.

Total Burden Cost (operating/maintenance): $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.

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Signed at Washington, DC, this 19th day of April 2017.

Kimberley D. Hill,

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

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[FR Doc. 2017-09602 Filed 5-11-17; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4510-24-P