Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
The Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories, and Orders (M3) survey collects monthly data on shipments, inventories, and new and unfilled orders from manufacturing companies. The orders, as well as the shipments and inventory data, are valuable tools for analysts of business cycle
The monthly M3 Survey estimates are based on a relatively small sample and reflect primarily the month-to-month changes of large companies. There is a clear need for periodic benchmarking of the M3 estimates to reflect the manufacturing universe. The Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM) provides annual benchmarks for the shipments and inventory data in this monthly survey. There is no benchmark for unfilled orders. The U.S. Census Bureau plans a reinstatement to an expired collection “Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories and Orders (M3) Supplement: 2006-2007 Unfilled Orders Benchmark Survey,” to be renamed the “Manufacturers' Unfilled Orders Survey.” Over the life of the M3 Survey, there have been four surveys specifically designed to collect unfilled orders. These surveys were conducted in 1976, 1986, 2000, and 2008. After analyzing the results of the 2008 survey, the Census Bureau ascertained the need for an ongoing data collection of unfilled orders data annually.
The Manufacturers' Unfilled Orders Survey will be used as a benchmark for the M3 Survey each year. The Census Bureau will use these data to develop universe estimates of unfilled orders as of the end of the calendar year and adjust the monthly M3 data on unfilled orders to these levels on the NAICS basis. The benchmarked unfilled orders levels will be used to derive estimates of new orders received by manufacturers. The survey data will also be used to determine whether it is necessary to collect unfilled orders data for specific industries on a monthly basis; some industries are not requested to provide unfilled orders data on the M3 Survey.
The Census Bureau will use mail out/mail back survey forms to collect the data. Companies will be asked to respond to the survey within 30 days of receipt. Letters encouraging participation will be mailed to companies that have not responded by the designated time. Telephone follow-up will be conducted to obtain response from delinquent companies.
Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.
Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.