Previously covered by the predecessor Business Expenses Survey, expenses data coverage of most industries in the service sector as of 2005 is part of the Service Annual Survey. Expenses data for manufacturing, mining, and construction sectors are covered in respective parts of the Economic Census.
Content: All sampled businesses in the BES are asked to provide data on total and detailed operating expenses for the year covered..
Frequency: Every five years coinciding with the collection of the Economic Census (generally years ending in "2" and "7." Data collection begins in January following the census year. Reported data are requested for the calendar year. A new sample of businesses is introduced every five years.
Methods: Data for the BES are collected as a supplement to the Annual Surveys of Retail Trade (including Accommodation and Food Services), and Wholesale Trade. These mail-out/mail-back surveys cover about 29,000 retail, accommodation and food services, and merchant wholesale businesses with paid employees. See the link to HOW SURVEYS ARE COLLECTED for details on survey methodology.
Uses: Business expenses data are used routinely by government program officials, particularly the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis which uses the data for the Nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimates and in developing the National Accounts input-output tables. Other users of business expenses data include market researchers, economic analysts, academics and business owners.