U.S. Department of Commerce

Information & Communication Technology Survey

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PURPOSE

Supplemental to the current Annual Capital Expenditure Survey (ACES), the Information and Communication Technology Survey (ICTS) collects data on non-capitalized and capitalized business spending for information and communication technology (ICT) equipment and computer software. The United States Code, Title 13, authorizes this survey and provides for mandatory responses.

COVERAGE

All domestic, private, non-farm, including agricultural non-farm (NAICS Subsectors 113, 114 and 115) businesses. Major exclusions are 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. All businesses falling in the remaining sectors are covered.

CONTENT

The ICT survey collects industry-level data for two equipment categories of non-capitalized expenses (purchases and operating leases/rental payments) and two software categories of non-capitalized expenses (purchases and licensing and software service/maintenance agreements). In addition to non-capitalized expenses, the ICTS also collects data for capital expenditures of equipment and software.

There are four types of ICT equipment and software (computer and peripheral equipment; ICT equipment excluding computers and peripherals; electromedical and electrotherapeutic apparatus; and computer software (including payroll for developing software) included in this survey. Companies report data for industries in which they operate and incur non-capitalized and capitalized expenses. Industries in the survey are comprised of 3-digit and selected 4-digit North American Industry Classification System codes.

FREQUENCY

Data collection begins in mid-March and continues for 8 months; data are for activities in the prior calendar year. Data has been collected annually beginning with data for 2003. Due to the suspension of ICTS in May 2013, data for survey year 2012 are not available. The program was reinstated in January 2014 and estimates will be available for survey year 2013.

METHODS

For the 2012 and prior ICTS data collection; a mail-out/mail-back sample survey of approximately 46,000 companies with 1 or more employees. Beginning in survey year 2006 (March 2007), respondents were also given the option of reporting online via Census Taker. For survey year 2013 (March 2014), data from companies with employees will be collected primarily through electronic reporting.

Larger companies are selected each year from the updated Business Register (BR); all companies with at least 500 paid employees are included in the survey; and smaller companies with employees are 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 are consolidated to create company information for sampling purposes. Separate industry categories are 3- or 4-digit NAICS industries developed on the basis of the aggregate value of capital expenditures and the reportability of detailed expenditures information. Published data are weighted totals for all covered businesses, adjusted for companies that do not respond, and accompanied by standard error information.

PRODUCTS

Information and Communication Technology reports provide survey results about 13 months after each reference year. The reports provide statistics on the aggregate and sector-level non-capitalized expenses, by type of expenditure. In addition, they summarize findings, describe survey background and concepts, and explain sample and estimation methods.

USES

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), Federal Reserve Board, Bureau of Labor Statistics and industry analysts use these data to evaluate future productivity and economic growth prospects. In addition, the proposed survey provides improved source data significant to the BEA's investment component of gross domestic product, estimates of capital stock and capital flow, and permits the reconciliation of important differences between reported production and consumption of technology. In addition, industry analysts and businesses use the ICT data for market analysis, economic forecasting, product development, and business planning.

RELATED PROGRAMS

Annual Capital Expenditures Survey

Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories, and Orders (M3) Survey

Economic Census


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