U.S. Department of Commerce

Monthly & Annual Wholesale Trade

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FAQs





What is a sample revision and why is it necessary?

A sample revision is the process used to re-design and re-select the samples for many of the Census Bureau's surveys of the retail, wholesale, and service industries. This process is performed to
  • ensure each sample is representative of its target population
  • improve the efficiency of each sample
  • incorporate updates to the industry classification structure
  • expand industry coverage of the survey
  • update questions and instructions to obtain more accurate data, and
  • redistribute burden for small and medium size businesses
The current Annual Wholesale Trade Survey sample was introduced in February 2013 with the release of estimates for reference year 2011.

How often is a sample revision performed for the Annual Wholesale Trade Survey?

Sample revisions are performed approximately every 5 to 7 years. During the period for which the samples are used, updates are made on a quarterly basis to reflect changes in the business universe. These updates are designed to account for new businesses (births) and businesses that discontinue operations (deaths). The samples are also updated to reflect mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, splits, and other changes to the business universe.

When were estimates from the new Annual Wholesale Trade Survey sample released?

Annual Wholesale Trade Survey estimates based on the new sample were released on February 28, 2013.

What is the size of the Annual Wholesale Trade Survey sample?

The size of the new and current Annual Wholesale Trade Survey samples is approximately 8,700 employer firms.

Are the estimates from different Annual Wholesale Trade Survey samples comparable?

Yes. Estimates from different samples have been put on a comparable basis.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Service Sector Statistics Division |   Last Revised: May 31, 2013