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Advance Economic Indicators

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About the Report


To provide advance statistics for U.S. International Trade in Goods, domestic retail inventories, and domestic wholesale inventories.


The estimates in this report are based on data from the U.S. International Trade in Goods, the Monthly Retail Trade Survey, and the Monthly Wholesale Trade Survey

U.S. International Trade in Goods: The export statistics consist of goods valued at more than $2,500 per commodity shipped by individuals and organizations (including exporters, freight forwarders, and carriers) from the U.S. to other countries. The import statistics consist of goods valued at more than $2,000 per commodity shipped by individuals and organizations (including importers and customs brokers) into the U.S. from other countries. Estimates are made for low-value exports by country of destination, and based on bilateral trade patterns. For detailed information on coverage, go to the Guide to Foreign Trade Statistics.

Monthly Wholesale Trade: Companies with employment that are primarily engaged in merchant wholesale trade in the U.S, as defined by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), excluding Manufacturers' Sales Branches and Offices. Also excluded are non-merchant wholesalers such as agents, brokers, and electronic markets.

Monthly Retail Trade: Retail companies, as defined by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), with one or more establishments that sell merchandise and related services to final consumers.


U.S. International Trade in Goods: Data are compiled in terms of commodity classification, quantities, values, shipping weights, method of transportation (air or vessel), state of (movement) origin, customs district, customs port, country of destination, and whether contents are domestic goods or re-exports. Since January 1989, commodities have been compiled under Schedule B harmonized classifications of domestic and foreign commodity exports. These transactions are classified under approximately 8,000 different products leaving the United States.

Monthly Wholesale Trade: Companies provide data on dollar values of merchant wholesale end-of-month inventories.

Monthly Retail Trade: Retail firms provide data on dollar values of retail end-of month inventories.


Statistics and estimates are reported monthly approximately 25 to 29 calendar days after the end of the calendar month.


For information on survey methodology for the individual surveys, refer to their respective overviews under the topic, methods in the related sites U.S. International Trade in Goods, Monthly Retail Trade Survey, Monthly Wholesale Trade Survey.


The Bureau of Economic Analysis uses these data in GDP estimates. The Federal Reserve Board, the Treasury Department, and the Council of Economic Advisers use these data to develop monetary and fiscal policy. These data are widely used by private economists, corporations, trade associations, investment consultants and researchers for market analysis and economic forecasting; and by the news media in general business coverage and specialized commentary.


Statement Regarding COVID-19 Impact - The Census Bureau continues to monitor response and data quality and has determined that estimates in this release meet publication standards. For more information, see COVID19 FAQs.

Intention to Revise- Revisions to the Wholesale estimates were released on March 24, 2021 and are reflected in this release. Revisions to the Retail estimates will be released April 26, 2021 and will be reflected in the March 2021 Advance Economic Indicators Release scheduled for April 28, 2021. Estimates are revised to reflect the results of the 2019 Annual Wholesale and Annual Retail Trade Surveys, as well as the 2017 Economic Census.

API - The URL for the economic indicators data in the Census Bureau API (Application Programming Interface) has been updated to add /timeseries/. Examples can be found on the Developers' webpage.

FRED Mobile App - Receive the latest updates on the nation's key economic indicators by downloading the FRED App for both Apple and Android devices. FRED, the signature database of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, now incorporates the Census Bureau's 13 economic indicators.

Release Schedule

Next release: April 28, 2021

Complete Release Schedule

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Economic Indicators Division |  Last Revised: April 02, 2021