Central Product Classification (CPC)

What is a CPC Code?

The CPC constitutes a comprehensive classification of all products, including goods and services. CPC presents categories for all products that can be the object of domestic or international transactions or that can be entered into stocks. It includes products that are an output of economic activity, including transportable goods and non-transportable goods, products, and services.



Development and Classification

CPC, as a standard central product classification, was developed to serve as an instrument for assembling and tabulating all kinds of statistics requiring product detail including: production, intermediate and final consumption, capital formation, foreign trade or prices. They may refer to commodity flows, stocks or balances and may be compiled in the context of input/output tables, balance of payments and other analytical presentations.

The CPC classifies products based on the physical characteristics of goods or on the nature of the services rendered. CPC was developed primarily to enhance harmonization among various fields of economic and related statistics and to strengthen the role of national accounts as an instrument for the coordination of economic statistics. It provides a basis for recompiling basic statistics from their original classifications into a standard classification for analytical use.



Linkage to other Product Classifications

The CPC uses the subheadings of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS) as building blocks (to the degree possible) in sections 0-4 of the classification. The link between the CPC and the International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC) is also of importance.

The Central Product Classification (CPC) Ver.2 has been completed on 31 December 2008.



How to Read a CPC Code?

The coding system of the CPC is hierarchical and purely decimal. The classification consists of sections (identified by the first digit), divisions (identified by the first and second digits), groups (identified by the first three digits), classes (identified by the first four digits) and subclasses (identified by all five digits, taken together). The codes for the sections range from 0 through 9 and each section may be divided into nine divisions. At the third digit of the code each division may, in turn, be divided into nine groups which then may be further divided into nine classes and then again into nine subclasses. 


Sections

5

Construction and Construction Services

Divisions

53

Constructions

Groups

531

Buildings

Classes

5312

Non-residential Buildings

Subclasses

53121

Industrial Buildings



History



Purpose

  • To provide a framework for an international comparison of statistics dealing with goods, services and assets

  • To serve as a guide for developing or revising existing classification schemes of products in order to make them compatible with international standards



Why are CPC Codes used?

  • To provide a basis for recompiling basic statistics from their original classifications into a standard classification for analytical use

  • To enhance harmonization among various fields of economic and related statistics

  • To strengthen the role of national accounts as an instrument for coordination of economic statistics



Why are CPC Codes important?

  • CPC constitutes a comprehensive classification of all goods and services

  • The CPC includes categories for all products that can be the object of domestic or international transactions or that can be entered into stocks


For more information: http://www.census.gov/eos/www/napcs/papers/cpcintro.pdf