The Council on Wage and Price Stability is considering asking the nation's 500 largest businesses to report to the government how much their prices increased in the past two years.
The reports would give the firms - and the government - the basis for determining whether big business is complying with President Carter's price guidelines, council Deputy Director Robert Russell said yesterday.
The goal is to hold the rate of increase in prices to half a percentage point below the average in 1976 and 1977.
Russell said companies will be expected to meet the price guidelines on a companywide basis, using a weighted average of past increases.
That means that a business may be able to increase prices faster than in the past on some of its products, as long as small increases on other products hold down the overall average.
Stressing that "we're just monitoring, not enforcing" the price guidlines. Russell said the anti-inflation agency plans a series of meetings with major businesses to explain how they can voluntarily meet the price goals.
The sessions are to begin next Tuesday, with about 75 major firms in Los Angeles, and will be followed by three more sessions in Washington with other firms.