Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
Sections 182, 224, and 225 of Title 13 of the United States Code (U.S.C.) authorize the Census Bureau to take surveys that are necessary to produce current data on the subjects covered by the major censuses. As part of this authorization, the Census Bureau conducts the ARTS to provide continuing and timely national statistical data on retail trade, and accommodation and food services activity for the period between economic censuses and, for this year, during the economic census. ARTS is a continuation of similar retail trade surveys conducted each year since 1951 (except 1954). ARTS covers employer firms with establishments located in the United States and classified in the Retail Trade and/or Accommodation and Food Services sectors as defined by the 2007 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). ARTS provides, on a comparable classification basis, annual sales, annual e-commerce sales, purchases, total and detailed operating expenses, accounts receivables, and year-end inventories held inside and outside the United States for 2012. The Census Bureau has determined that the conduct of this survey is necessary because these data are not available publicly on a timely basis from any other sources.
For the 2012 ARTS, we will request data on detailed operating expenses that were previously requested under a separate supplemental mailing (conducted every five years). The last supplemental mailing was conducted for the 2007 ARTS under OMB Control Number 0607-0942. While the retail portion of that program will be collapsed into the ARTS, we will continue to ask only the additional detailed expense questions every five years.
Firms are selected for the ARTS using a stratified random sample based on industry groupings and annual sales size. We will provide report forms to the firms covered by this survey in February 2013, and will require their responses within 50 days after receipt. Firms' responses to the ARTS are required by law (Title 13 U.S.C. Sections 182, 224, and 225). The sample of firms selected will provide, with measurable reliability, statistics on annual sales, annual e-commerce sales, purchases, total and detailed operating expenses, accounts receivables, and year-end inventories held both inside and outside the United States for 2012.
The data collected in this survey be similar to that collected in the past and within the general scope and nature of those inquiries covered in the economic census. These data are collected to provide a sound statistical basis for the formation of policy by various government agencies. Results will be available for use for a variety of public and business needs including economic and market analysis, company performance, and forecasting future demand.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) unless that collection of information displays a current valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. In accordance with the PRA, 44 U.S.C. §§ 3501-3521, OMB has approved the Annual Retail Trade Survey under OMB Control Number 0607-0013.
Based upon the foregoing, I have directed that an annual survey be conducted for the purpose of collecting these data.