How are the estimates benchmarked?
We benchmark the estimates in two stages. When the latest Economic Census becomes available we benchmark to set the annual sales and end-of-year inventory estimates equal to the results from the Economic Census and minimize revisions to the previously published year-to-year trends. After we benchmark the annual estimates to the Economic Census results, we benchmark the monthly estimates to equal the annual estimates and the Economic Census results and minimize revisions to previously published month-to-month trends.
For more information, visit the Monthly and Annual Retail Trade website.