From AEAStat staff:
The Census Bureau seeks input on its plans for conducting the Monthly Wholesale Trade Survey (MWTS) in 2020-2023. See https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/11/01/2019-23881/proposed-information-collection-comment-request-monthly-wholesale-trade-survey
Comments are due by December 31, 2019. Observations about collection methods, analytic techniques, and data products are welcome.
Go to https://reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=201704-0607-002
to see current survey forms (click IC List) and detailed description of current approach (click Supporting Statement). Forms also available at https://www.census.gov/wholesale/www/get_forms/monthly_forms.html
The Monthly Wholesale Trade Survey (MWTS) provides a continuous measure of monthly sales, end-of-month inventories, and inventories/sales ratios in the United States by selected kinds of business for merchant wholesalers, excluding manufacturers' sales branches and offices. Estimates from the MWTS are released in three different reports each month. High level aggregate estimates for end-of-month inventories are first released as part of the Advance Economic Indicators Report approximately 25 to 29 calendar days after the close of the reference month. The full Monthly Wholesale Trade Report containing both sales and inventories estimates is released approximately 6 weeks after the close of the reference month. Sales and inventories estimates from the MWTS are also released as part of the Manufacturing and Trade Inventories and Sales (MTIS) report issued approximately 6 weeks after the close of the reference month.
Estimates produced from the MWTS are based on a probability sample and are published on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) basis. The sample of 4,200 small, medium, and large wholesale businesses reports monthly on sales and inventories. The sample is drawn from the Business Register, which contains all Employer Identification Numbers (EINs) and listed establishment locations. The sample is updated quarterly to reflect employer business “births” and “deaths.”
Estimation procedures: Estimates of monthly sales and end-of-month inventories are derived from data collected in the MWTS. Each month, firms in the MWTS sample are asked to report their sales and inventories data for the month just ending. Monthly totals are computed as the sum of weighted data (reported and imputed) for all selected sampling units that meet the sample canvass and tabulation criteria given below. The weight for a given sampling unit is the reciprocal of its probability of selection into the MWTS sample. The monthly totals are then benchmarked to the latest totals from the AWTS. Period-to-period (e.g., month-to-month) change estimates are computed using the benchmarked monthly totals. Monthly total estimates for broad industry groups (e.g., 2-, 3-, and 4-digit NAICS levels) are computed by summing the benchmarked monthly totals for the appropriate detailed industries comprising the broader industry group. Variances are estimated using the method of random groups.