Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government


Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35).

Agency:U.S. Census Bureau.

Title:Monthly Wholesale Trade Survey.

OMB Control Number:0607-0190.

Form Number(s):SM4206-A, SM4206-E.

Type of Request:Extension of a currently approved collection.

Burden Hours:6,300.

Number of Respondents:4,500.

Average Hours per Response:7 minutes.

Needs and Uses:The Monthly Wholesale Trade Survey (MWTS) canvasses firms primarily engaged in merchant wholesale trade, excluding manufacturers' sales branches and offices (MSBOs), that are located in the United States. This survey provides the only continuous measure of monthly wholesale sales, end-of-month inventories, and inventories/sales ratios. The sales and inventory estimates produced from the MWTS provide current trends of economic activity by kind of business for the United States. Also, the estimates compiled from this survey provide valuable information for economic policy decisions by the government and are widely used by private businesses, trade organizations, professional associations, and other business research and analysis organizations.

As one of the U.S. Census Bureau's principal economic indicators, the estimates produced by the MWTS are critical to the accurate measurement of total economic activity of the United States. The estimates of sales made by wholesale locations represent only merchant wholesalers, excluding MSBOs, who take title to goods bought for resale to other companies. Wholesalers normally sell to industrial distributors, retail operations, cooperatives, and other businesses. The sales estimates include sales made on credit as well as on a cash basis, butexclude receipts from sales taxes and interest charges from credit sales.

The estimates of inventories represent all merchandise held in wholesale locations, warehouses, and offices, as well as goods held by others for sale on consignment or in transit for distribution to wholesale establishments. The estimates of inventories exclude fixtures and supplies not for resale, as well as merchandise held on consignment which are owned by others. Inventories are an important component in the Bureau of Economic Analysis's (BEA) calculation of the investment portion of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

We publish wholesale sales and inventory estimates based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) which has been widely adopted throughout both the public and private sectors.

The Census Bureau tabulates the collected data to provide, with measurable reliability, statistics on sales, end-of-month inventories, and inventories/sales ratios for merchant wholesalers, excluding MSBOs.

The BEA is the primary Federal user of data collected in the MWTS. The BEA uses data from this form to prepare the national income and product accounts (NIPA), input-output accounts (I-O), and gross domestic product (GDP) by industry. End-of-month inventories are used to prepare the change in private inventories component of GDP. Sales are used to prepare estimates of real inventory-sales ratios in the NIPAs, extrapolate proprietors' income for wholesalers (until tax return data become available) in the NIPAs, and extrapolate annual current-dollar gross output for the most recent year in annual I-O tables, GDP-by-industry, and advance GDP-by-industry estimates.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics uses the data as input to its Producer Price Indexes and in developing productivity measurements. Private businesses use the wholesale sales and inventory data 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.

Affected Public:Business or other for-profit.


Respondent's Obligation:Voluntary.

Legal Authority:Title 13 U.S.C., Section 182.

OMB Desk Officer:Brian Harris-Kojetin, (202) 395-7314.

Copies of the above information collection proposal can be obtained by calling or writing Diana Hynek, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, (202) 482-0266, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet

Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to Brian Harris-Kojetin, OMB Desk Officer either by fax (202-395-7245) or e-mail (

Dated: March 4, 2011. Glenna Mickelson, Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.