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From the staff of the AEA Committee on Economic Statistics:
 
The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve invites comments regarding its Intermittent Survey of Businesses -- the ad hoc surveys of firms carried out by the 12 regional banks to gather information for the Beige Book. https://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/beige-book-default.htm

The types of survey inquiries carried out in the last decade include:

Firms’ capital spending plans (a common one) -- see sample questions on this topic at https://reginfo.gov/public/do/DownloadDocument?objectID=71537301
Firms’ hiring plans (a common one)
Challenges finding new employees
Wages/compensation
Federal fiscal policy developments
Commercial real estate activity
School district budgets and expected effects of fiscal stimulus grants
Expected effects of ARRA on state budgets
Credit availability

For each survey, the Federal Reserve prepares in advance questions of specific topical interest, often at the request of Reserve Bank presidents. The Federal Reserve then determines a relevant target group of firms to contact. If conducted by telephone, the discussions could last up to twenty minutes, with the typical conversation lasting approximately fifteen minutes. If conducted using an online survey tool, the response times are likely to be significantly shorter. The Federal Reserve tabulates the results of the Reserve Bank surveys and prepares a brief summary of the results. The tabulation and the summary, along with the submission from the individual Reserve Banks, are then circulated to the members of the Board and Reserve Bank presidents. For the Board surveys, a memo is prepared for the Board members summarizing the survey results.

Economists may suggest specific question topics and content. The invitation to provide comments is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/10/25/2019-23321/proposed-agency-information-collection-activities-comment-request. Comments are due by December 24, 2019.

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