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Investment Plans Survey

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(Discontinued in 1996; Formerly the Plant and Equipment Survey)


PURPOSE

Provided early estimates of business spending for structures and equipment, and early estimates and mid-year revisions of plans for such investment. The United States Code, Title 13, authorized this survey and provided for voluntary responses. This was also called the IPS program.

COVERAGE

All domestic, private, non-farm (NAICS 11), businesses with at least 5 paid employees. Major exclusions were foreign operations of U.S. businesses, businesses in U.S. territories, government operations (including the U.S. Postal Service), agricultural production companies, and private households.

CONTENT

Basic data covered total capital investments, excluding land and depletable assets. Early data consisted of estimated current-year expenditures, and planned coming-year spending for 29 separate industry categories. Mid-year data consisted of revised plans for investments in the current year (which was the coming year for early data).

FREQUENCY

Collection of early data began each November and continued for about 3 months, and collection of mid-year revised data began each July and continued for about 2 months. As appropriate, data were for the current or coming calendar years. Data has been collected semi-annually since 1994 (Investments) and 1995 (Plans), and ending with data for 1996 (Plans).

METHODS

A mail-out/mail-back sample survey of approximately 29,500 companies with 5 or more employees. Sampled companies were the same as those with 5 or more employees selected for the previous year's ACES program. Larger companies were selected each year from the updated Business Register (BR); all companies with at least 500 paid employees were included in the survey; and smaller companies were stratified by industry and payroll size, and selected randomly by strata.

The Business Register is updated continuously based on new information from Census Bureau programs and administrative records of other agencies. Business Register establishment-level data were consolidated to create company information for sampling purposes. Separate industry categories were 2- or 3-digit NAICSC industries developed on the basis of the aggregate value of capital expenditures and the reportability of detailed expenditures information. Published data were weighted totals for all covered businesses, adjusted for companies that did not respond, and accompanied by standard error information.

PRODUCTS

February Business Investment and Plans press releases provided early estimates of investments and plans each year. The releases included current-dollar estimates of prior calendar year total investment for 14 industry categories, and comparable estimates of current-year planned investments.

September Business Investment and Plans press releases provided mid-year revised estimates of planned investments each year. The releases included revised current-dollar estimates of planned current-year total investment for the 14 industry categories.

USES

The Treasury Department and Federal Reserve Board used the data to estimate and project domestic business capital stocks. The Council of Economic Advisers used these data in compiling indicators of economic performance. Businesses and public officials used these data to assess near-term economic prospects and help make production and policy decisions.

SPECIAL FEATURES

A designated principal economic indicator program; replaced the Plant and Equipment Survey, and improved the quality and comparability of capital investment data.

RELATED PROGRAMS

Value of Construction Put in Place

Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures Products

Business Expenditures Survey (formerly Assets and Expenditure Survey)

Enterprise Statistics (discontinued 1992)

Economic Census


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