Census Bureau Announces July Manufacturing, Trade Stats

The U.S. Census Bureau announced the following new manufacturing and trade statistics for July 2019.


The combined value of distributive trade sales and manufacturers’ shipments for July, adjusted for seasonal and trading day differences but not for price changes, was estimated at $1,462.9 billion, up 0.3% (±0.1%) from June 2019 and was up 1.3% (±0.3%) from July 2018.


Manufacturers’ and trade inventories, adjusted for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were estimated at an end-of-month level of $2,042.6 billion, up 0.4% (±0.1%) from June 2019 and were up 4.8% (±0.4%) from July 2018.

Inventories/Sales Ratio

The total business inventories/sales ratio based on seasonally adjusted data at the end of July was 1.40. The July 2018 ratio was 1.35.

General Information

The August 2019 Manufacturing and Trade Inventories and Sales Report is scheduled for release on Oct. 16, 2019. View the full schedule in the Economic Briefing Room: www.census.gov/economic-indicators.



Reliability of Estimates

The sampling variability for retailers and merchant wholesalers can be used to construct a 90% confidence interval for the estimates. Over all possible samples, 90% of such intervals will cover the true estimate. These intervals are given in parentheses for the estimates on the front page.

If, for example, the estimate is up 0.8% and the margin of sampling error is ±1.2%, the 90% confidence interval is -0.4 percent to +2.0%. If the range contains 0, it is uncertain whether there was an increase or decrease.

Measures of reliability for Retail and Wholesale sales and inventory levels and changes are included in the detailed monthly press releases for those Industries.

Manufacturers do not contribute to estimates of sampling variability because the manufacturer’s mail panel is not a probability sample from a known frame and standard errors of the industry estimates cannot be calculated. Estimates from all three surveys are also subject to nonsampling errors, which can arise in any stage of the survey.

Such errors include coverage error (failure to accurately represent all population units in the sample) response errors, coding errors, and nonresponse.

Although no direct measurement of these errors has been obtained, precautionary steps were taken in all phases of the collection, processing, and tabulation of the data to minimize their influence.

Description of the Survey

The Manufacturing and Trade Inventories and Sales estimates are based on data from three surveys: the Monthly Retail Trade Survey, the Monthly Wholesale Trade Survey, and the Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories, and Orders Survey.

Data for the wholesale and manufacturing sectors are unrevised from the most recent Monthly Wholesale Trade Report and the Full Report on Manufacturers’ Shipments, Inventories and orders.

Data from the Retail sector is revised and presented in more detail from the most recent Advance Economic Indicators Report. For more information on these surveys see the links below: www.census.gov/retail, www.census.gov/wholesale, and www.census.gov/manufacturing/m3.



Economic Census

On Thursday, Sept. 19, the Census Bureau will release the first set of data from the 2017 Economic Census, the First Look report. This report includes preliminary National-level data on the number of employer establishments, employment, annual payroll, and revenue for nearly every 2- thru 6-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. The Economic Census provides the most comprehensive and detailed statistics on employer businesses available from the Census Bureau. www.census.gov/programs-surveys/economic-census.html


The 2017 E-Stats report is tentatively scheduled to be released on Monday, September 23, 2019. This annual
report summarizes 2017 e-commerce statistics on shipments, sales and revenues from four sectors of the economy: manufacturing, wholesale, services and retail. www.census.gov/programs-surveys/e-stats.html


The Census Bureau’s application programming interface lets developers create custom apps to reach new users and makes key demographic, socio-economic and housing statistics more accessible than ever before.