Annual Capital Expenditures Survey

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Appendix B.
Comparisons With Other Estimates of Capital Expenditures



Investment estimates, from the Annual Capital Expenditures Survey (ACES), that appear in this report are not directly comparable with investment data from other sources. Variations in survey concepts, coverage, definitions, data collection techniques, estimation methodology, and sample designs may contribute to differences among estimates. The following are examples of investment surveys and possible factors contributing to differences between estimates. Data users are cautioned to review technical information from each data source before making comparisons of the estimates.


The economic census is conducted every 5 years for years ending in 2 and 7, and covers nearly all of the U.S. economy in its basic collection of establishment statistics. Total capital expenditures and depreciable assets data are collected for mining, construction, and manufacturing establishments. In addition, capital expenditures for new and used structures and new and used equipment are collected for manufacturing establishments. Differences in the reporting units of the economic census and ACES may result in differences in each survey's estimates.


Estimates of the value of new construction put in place are compiled from several sources. Estimates for some sectors are based on sample surveys of construction project activity. In addition to sampling variability and coverage, differences in reporting units and respondent interpretations contribute to variations in level and distribution of investment data. Estimates for other sectors depend on data supplied to federal agencies to meet regulatory reporting requirements. Differences in the objectives of the regulatory requirements and the ACES may contribute to differences in estimates.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Annual Capital Expenditures | (301) 763-3324 |  Last Revised: February 07, 2012