Export prices

Release Date: Usually comes out in the US on a monthly basis in the middle of the month
(usually on the 13th of the month)
Release Time: At 8.30am US Eastern Time
Released By: The US Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Employment Cost Index is a report released every month by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and measures the change in the prices of goods exported out of the United States. This report is also known as the Export Price Index.

The scope of measurement of the US Export Price data consists of all goods and services sold by U.S. residents and companies to foreign buyers. Price data is usually obtained from a survey of US exporters on a confidential basis. The merchandise sampling frames for exports used in the calculation are obtained from two sources:

  1. For exports to Canada, the sampling frame is provided by the Canadian Customs Service
  2. The sampling frame for the rest of the world is obtained from the US Census Bureau.

Data sources for services are researched and developed separately for each category, with the most recent 12 months being used as the reference period for a sampling frame. Weight calculations are derived from the US dollar values present on each sampling frames, and also the dollar values compiled by the US Census Bureau, using the values for the base year as the benchmark.

The Export Prices data used to be published quarterly from 1974 to 1989, and then became a monthly news release thereafter.

Time of Release

The Export Prices report usually comes out in the US on a monthly basis in the middle of the month (usually on the 13th of the month). The data reviews the situation for the previous month. The time of release is 8.30am US Eastern Time. The data is released on the website of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and also on independent news feeds from Bloomberg and Thomas Reuters.

Interpreting the Data

The Export Prices data is a moderate impact news release. It constitutes one of the earliest government-released data on inflation.

An increase in export prices is seen as USD positive because this potentially is a sign of more revenue coming into the country and boosting the local economy. A fall in export prices would mean that less revenue is coming into a country and therefore this would be USD negative. Again if viewed from an inflationary angle, more money coming into a country from increase in export prices would be seen as an inflation-positive factor, which could prompt a government to consider raising rates. The reverse would also be the case when less money is coming in from exports.

Due to its status as a moderate impact news release, the Export Prices data is not directly tradable off the charts. Rather it should be used as a predictive indicator for data such as Trade Balance reports.


The Export Price Index is also released at the same time as the Import Price Index. View the weblink of the Bureau of Labor Statistics for details.