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Quarterly Services

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Quarterly Services Survey FAQs

Which QSS series are seasonally adjusted?

The revenue series for the following NAICS codes are seasonally adjusted:

Selected Services Total
22          Utilities
2211      Electric power generation, transmission and distribution
2212      Natural gas distribution
2213      Water, sewage and other systems
48-49     Transportation and warehousing
481        Air transportation
484        Truck transportation
4841      General freight trucking
4842      Specialized freight trucking
485        Transit and ground passenger transportation
487        Scenic and sightseeing transportation
492        Couriers and messengers
51          Information
511        Publishing industries (except Internet)
51111    Newspaper publishers
51112    Periodical publishers
5111 pt  Book, directory and mailing list, and other publishers
5112      Motion picture and sound recording industries
512        Software publishers
515        Broadcasting (except Internet)
5151      Radio and television broadcasting
5152      Cable and other subscription programming
518        Data processing, hosting, and related services
54          Professional, scientific, and technical services
5411      Legal services
5412      Accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services
5413      Architectural, engineering, and related services
54133    Engineering services
5416      Management, scientific, and technical consulting services
5417      Scientific research and development services
5418      Advertising, public relations, and related services
56          Administrative and support and waste management and remediation services
5613      Employment services
5615      Travel arrangement and reservation services
561 pt    Other administrative and support services
562        Waste management and remediation services
622        Hospitals

Are there plans to expand the number of seasonally adjusted estimates?

Yes. For the full report, we anticipate the introduction of seasonally adjusted estimates of revenue for selected industries within NAICS sectors 52, 53, 62, 71, subsector 561, and 5111 effective with the March 2020 release for the fourth quarter of 2019.

Full Quarterly Services Report


  • Selected industries within the following NAICS codes:
    • 52     (Finance and insurance)
    • 53     (Real estate and rental and leasing)
    • 5111 (Newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers)
    • 561   (Administrative and support services)
    • 62     (Health care and social assistance)
    • 71     (Arts, entertainment, and recreation)

First release: March 2020 release for the fourth quarter of 2019

Where to find it:

  • Press Release, table 1a (PDF and excel)
  • Time Series/Trend Charts
  • U.S. Census Bureau Economic Indicator Dashboard
  • Economic Indicators Briefing Room

Advance Report

Industries: None

Research continues on the seasonal adjustment of additional series.

How do you determine which series to seasonally adjust?

Seasonally adjusted estimates are published for QSS series with indications of a good quality seasonal adjustment. Research continues on the seasonal adjustment of additional series.

Do seasonally adjusted estimates cover the same time frame as the unadjusted estimates?

Seasonally adjusted estimates are provided for all quarters for which there are unadjusted estimates available. Full time series are accessible here. The quarterly press release contains seasonally adjusted estimates for the most recent six quarters

What is seasonal adjustment?

Seasonal adjustment is the process of estimating and removing seasonal effects from a time series in order to better reveal certain non-seasonal features. An example of a seasonal effect is an increase in accounting services during the tax season. (Seasonal effects are defined more precisely below.)

Why do you seasonally adjust data?

Seasonal movements are often large enough that they mask other characteristics of the data that are of interest to analysts who track current economic trends. For example, if each quarter has a different seasonal tendency toward high or low values it can be difficult to detect the general direction of a time series' recent quarterly movement (increase, decrease, turning point, no change, consistency with another economic indicator, etc.). Seasonal adjustment produces data in which the values of neighboring quarters are usually easier to compare. Many data users prefer seasonally adjusted data because they want to see those characteristics that seasonal movements tend to mask, especially changes in the direction of the series.

What kinds of seasonal effects are removed during seasonal adjustment?

Seasonal adjustment procedures for quarterly time series estimate effects that occur in the same calendar quarter with similar magnitude and direction from year to year. Examples of these effects include economic activity tied to the tax season or to the travel season. The seasonal factors are estimates of average effects for each quarter. It is important to note that seasonal factors are based on present and past experience and that future data may show a different pattern of seasonal factors.

How is the seasonal adjustment derived?

We use X-13ARIMA-SEATS to derive our seasonal adjustment and produce seasonal factors. X-13ARIMA-SEATS is a seasonal adjustment program developed at the U.S. Census Bureau in collaboration with the Bank of Spain that provides both X-11 method seasonal adjustments and ARIMA model-based seasonal adjustments and diagnostic.

QSS estimates are adjusted using the X-11 filter-based adjustment procedure.

Which version of X-13 is currently used?

We currently use version 1.1, build 48 of X-13ARIMA-SEATS.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Services | (888) 211-5946 |  Last Revised: March 21, 2019 August 29, 2019