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E-commerce data were collected in four separate Census Bureau surveys. These surveys used different measures of economic activity such as shipments for manufacturing, sales for wholesale and retail trade, and revenues for service industries. Consequently, measures of total economic and e-commerce activity vary by economic sector, are conceptually and definitionally different, and therefore, are not additive. The Census Bureau's e-commerce report measures the value of goods and services sold online whether over open networks such as the Internet, or over proprietary networks running systems such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).
This report does not cover agriculture, mining, construction, agents, brokers, and electronic markets in wholesale trade.
The Census Bureau is committed to providing the business community and policymakers with relevant and useful economic statistics. This information is an important step in achieving that goal. We thank all the businesses that participated in the surveys. Their cooperation and continued participation is vital to the future success of the economic statistics programs.