Frequently Asked Questions

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What kinds of seasonal effects are removed during seasonal adjustment?

Seasonal adjustment procedures for monthly time series estimate effects that occur in the same calendar month with similar magnitude and direction from year to year. In series whose seasonal effects come primarily from weather (rather than from, say, Christmas sales or economic activity tied to the school year or the travel season), the seasonal factors are estimates of average weather effects for each month, for example, the average January decrease in new home construction in the Northeastern region of the U.S. due to cold and storms. Seasonal adjustment does not account for abnormal weather conditions or for year-to-year changes in weather. It is important to note that seasonal factors are estimates based on present and past experience and that future data may show a different pattern of seasonal factors.

For more information, visit the Monthly and Annual Retail Trade website.


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