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An interesting micro-site – it seems very much more aimed at people who know BLS data already, and much less aimed at coders. The FAQ answers the question "What is an API?", but doesn't even have a list of the IDs required in order to get any data whatsoever out of that API. It does however point to this page which is helpful, if not comprehensive: http://www.bls.gov/help/hlpforma.htm

And the API itself seems quite simple and easy to use - so it looks like good access to important data.

I think HN took the API down about 10 min ago.

Before people start iterating every code variation to hit the API and fill their DBs, I think you can download the data from here: http://www.bls.gov/data/

or from here if you already know all the series codes: ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/time.series/

There should probably better documentation for all of the data, since it isn't uncommon to see headlines that use the wrong time series for a particular concept.

That said their phone support is pretty excellent, and you'll likely get a direct line to the researcher preparing the data.

Hmm, seemed pretty straight forward to me, clicked on databases which took me to http://www.bls.gov/data/

Clicking on 'Top Picks' (its a badge but its also a link) got me to here: http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/surveymost?cu with some series indicators in it.

Clicked on Food and Beverage, selected some years, added a graph and got back the CPI for food and beverages between 1990 to present.

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