Why do we use our annual surveys and censuses as benchmarks?
Participation in the economic census and the annual survey are required by law, therefore response rates are higher than in the monthly surveys. Respondents have more time to prepare their responses to the annual surveys than they do for the monthly survey. Data for the annual surveys are requested at a time when many firms have already compiled audited book figures. Respondents to our monthly survey have just a few weeks to provide their data. These data are sometimes based on unaudited records or include estimates. Also, we collect data from more businesses in the annual survey.
For more information, visit the Monthly and Annual Retail Trade website.