About the Surveys
The Advance Monthly and Monthly Retail Trade Surveys (MARTS
), the Annual Retail Trade Survey (ARTS)
, and the Quarterly E-Commerce Report work together to produce the most
comprehensive data available on retail economic activity in the United States. More detailed descriptions of these
programs can be found by choosing one of the links to the left.
Regular quality control and verification takes place between MARTS, MRTS, and ARTS annually and between these
programs and the Economic Census of Retail Trade
every five years.
Each year when annual data become available, we compare and resolve differences between the data collected on the
monthly and annual surveys. We refer to this process as the monthly-to-annual reconciliation. At the same time, we
benchmark the monthly estimates using results of the annual survey. ARTS estimates are then benchmarked to data
maintained by the Economic Census of Retail Trade. This process of benchmarking retail data over all four programs
ensures consistency in our estimates.
The Business Expenses Supplement is an addition to the 2007 Annual Retail Trade Survey. Its purpose is to compile
statistics on detailed business operating expenses. The United States Code, Title 13, authorizes this program as
part of the Economic Census. This coverage was previously part of the predecessor Business Expenses Survey.
Detailed expenses are collected every five years.