U.S. Department of Commerce

Annual Retail Trade Survey

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PURPOSE

To produce national estimates of total annual sales, e-commerce sales, end-of-year inventories, purchases, total operating expenses, inventories held outside the United States, gross margins, and end-of-year accounts receivable for retail businesses and annual sales, total operating expenses, and e-commerce sales for accommodation and food service firms located in the United States.


COVERAGE

The ARTS sample covers employer businesses classified in retail trade sector and accommodation & food services sector located in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. ARTS excludes data for businesses located in the U.S. territories. Firms without paid employees, or nonemployers, are included in the estimates through imputation or administrative data provided by other federal agencies.


CONTENT

ARTS requests data on total annual sales, e-commerce sales, end-of-year inventories, inventory-to-sales ratios, purchases, total operating expenses, inventories held outside the United States, gross margins, and end-of-year accounts receivable for retail businesses and annual sales, total operating expenses, and e-commerce sales for accommodation and food service firms located in the United States.


PRODUCTS

Estimates are released approximately 15 months after the reference year and are summarized by industry classification based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). The ARTS estimates are used to benchmark the monthly retail sales and inventories estimates each spring, and are published in the Annual Revision for Monthly Retail and Food Services Sales. Additionally, estimates from the ARTS are used by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) as input to their annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) revision that is published each July.


USES OF ANNUAL RETAIL TRADE DATA

  • ARTS serves as a benchmark for the estimates produced from the Monthly Retail Trade Survey (MRTS).
  • The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) uses the estimates to derive industry output for the Input-Output accounts and for the Gross Domestic Product.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) uses the data as input to its Producer Price Index and in developing productivity measurements.
  • The Federal Reserve Board uses the data as input to its Producer Price Indexes and in developing productivity measurements.
  • Private businesses use the estimate in computing business activity indexes.
  • Other government agencies and businesses use this information for market research, product development, and business planning to gauge the current trends of the economy.

RELATED PROGRAMS

Economic Census

Annual Capital Expenditures Survey

Advance Monthly Retail Sales

Monthly Retail Trade Survey

Business and Professional Classification Survey


EXPLORE INFORMATION

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Annual Retail Trade Survey

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