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April 15 -- The Census Bureau invites public comment by May 17, 2021 on its request of the Office of Management and Budget to approve the Quarterly Financial Report (QFR) program information collection forms: QFR 200 (MT) long form (manufacturing, mining, wholesale trade, and retail trade); QFR 201 (MG) short form (manufacturing); and the QFR 300 (S) long form (information services and professional and technical services). The Census Bureau is not requesting any changes to the current forms.
 
The QFR program collects and publishes up-to-date aggregate statistics on the financial results and position of U.S. corporations. The QFR target population consists of all corporations engaged primarily in manufacturing with total assets of $5 million and over, and all corporations engaged primarily in mining; wholesale trade; retail trade; information; or professional and technical services (except legal services) industries with total assets of $50 million and over.  
 
The main purpose of the QFR is to provide timely, accurate data on business financial conditions for use by government and private-sector organizations and individuals. Primary public users include U.S. governmental organizations with economic measurement and policymaking responsibilities such as the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Bureau of Labor Statistic and the Federal Reserve Board. In turn, these organizations provide guidance, advice, and support to the QFR program. The primary non-governmental data users are a diverse group including universities, financial analysts, unions, trade associations, public libraries, banking institutions, and U.S. and foreign corporations.
 
QFR data are released approximately 65 days after the end of the first, second, and third calendar quarters and approximately 80 days after the end of the fourth calendar quarter.  

For reporting purposes, retail trade corporations’ quarters have been staggered by one month.  The published data include information on the most recently closed quarter and the preceding four quarters for the manufacturing, mining, wholesale trade, and selected service sectors.  
 
The frame from which the major portion of the QFR sample is selected consists of the IRS file of those corporate entities which are required to file IRS Form 1120, 1120A or 1120S and which also have as their principal industrial activity: manufacturing, mining, wholesale trade, retail trade, information, or professional and technical services (except legal).  The IRS file is sampled once each year.  At the time the sample is selected, the file does not contain those corporate entities whose first income tax return has not been processed.  In addition, several months elapse between the selection of this sample and its introduction into the QFR Program.

To keep the QFR sample up-to-date, staff reviews current corporate news releases and public records to identify any potential large additions and changes to the target population.  Corporations thus identified and thought to meet QFR in-scope criteria are contacted to verify their in-scope status.  If determined to be in-scope of the QFR, the corporation will automatically be included in the survey for the remainder of the sample year.

QFR website: https://www.census.gov/econ/qfr/
FR notice inviting comments to OMB: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2021/04/15/2021-07706/agency-information-collection-activities-submission-to-the-office-of-management-and-budget-omb-for
QFR submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202104-0607-002 Click on IC List for forms, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation
 
Point of contact: Brandi Hanley, Branch Chief, Quarterly Financial Branch, Economic Indicators Division (301) 763-6600 brandi.hanley@census.gov
 
For AEA members wishing to submit comments to OMB, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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