Aerospace Price Indexes

by Harry G. Campbell

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An analysis of publications prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics relating to price indexes leads to the conclusion that insufficient data are collected on aerospace items, and, with the exception of hourly earnings information, the published data may be misleading. Overhead is an important cost component of major purchased materials and finished production items; however, it is not treated in any regularly published report. Because of the relative importance of overhead, attention should be given to establishing a reliable data-gathering system so that trends can be measured and analyzed. In the meantime, any index purporting to measure price changes in aerospace products is of questionable value. Simple and convenient indexes (including those presented here) are no substitute for reasonably thorough analysis and should be used only if such analysis cannot be accomplished.

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