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Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Annual Wholesale Trade Survey

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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U.S. Census Bureau, Commerce.




The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).


To ensure consideration, written comments must be submitted on or before May 23, 2011.


Direct all written comments to Diana Hynek, Departmental Start Printed Page 15940Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at

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Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument(s) and instructions should be directed to John Miller, U.S. Census Bureau, Room 8K081, Washington, DC 20233-6500, (301) 763-2758.

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I. Abstract

The Annual Wholesale Trade Survey (AWTS) covers employer firms with establishments located in the United States and classified in wholesale trade as defined by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). This sector comprises two main types of wholesalers: (1) Merchant wholesalers that sell goods on their own account (including sales offices and sales branches, except retail stores, maintained by manufacturing, refining, or mining enterprises apart from their plants or mines for the purpose of marketing their products) and (2) business to business electronic markets, agents, and brokers that arrange sales and purchases for others generally for a commission or fee.

Firms are selected for this survey using a stratified random sample where strata are defined by industry and annual sales size. The sample, consisting of approximately 7,600 wholesale businesses, is selected from the Business Register, which contains all Employer Identification Numbers (EINs) and listed establishment locations. The sample is updated quarterly to reflect employer “births” and “deaths” by adding new employer businesses identified in the Business and Professional Classification Survey and deleting firms and EINs when it is determined they are no longer active.

Respondents are separated into three classifications: (1) Merchant wholesale establishments, excluding manufacturers' sales branches and offices; (2) manufacturers' sales branches and offices; and (3) agents, brokers, and business to business electronic markets. The first classification is asked to provide sales, e-commerce, inventories, method of inventory valuation, inventories held outside the United States, purchases, and operating expenses. The second classification is asked to provide sales, e-commerce, inventories, method of inventory valuation, inventories held outside the United States, and operating expenses. The third classification is asked to provide commissions, sales on their own account, and operating expenses. These data are collected to provide a sound statistical basis for the formation of policy by various government agencies. These data are used to satisfy a variety of public and business needs such as economic market analysis, company performance, and forecasting future demands. Results will be available, at the United States summary level, for selected wholesale industries approximately fourteen months after the end of the reference year.

A new sample will be introduced with the 2011 AWTS. It is expected that approximately 60-70% of the companies that are asked to report will be doing so for the first time (and, consequently, 60-70% of the old sample will no longer be asked to report). In order to link estimates from the new and prior samples, we will be asking companies to provide data for 2011 and 2010. The 2012 AWTS and subsequent years will request one year of data until a new sample is once again introduced.

An additional change will occur with the 2012 AWTS. We will request data on detailed operating expenses that were previously requested under a separate supplemental mailing (conducted every 5 years). The last supplemental mailing was conducted in conjunction with the 2007 AWTS under OMB No. 0607-0942. While the wholesale portion of that program will be collapsed into the AWTS, we will continue to ask only the additional detailed expense questions every 5 years. These detailed expense questions are only applicable to the merchant wholesale establishments, excluding manufacturers' sales branches and offices.

II. Method of Collection

We collect this information by Internet, fax, mail, and telephone.

III. Data

OMB Control Number: 0607-0195.

Form Number: SA-42, SA-42A, SA-42(MSBO), SA-42A(MSBO), SA-42(AGBR), SA-42A(AGBR).

Type of Review: Regular submission.

Affected Public: Wholesale firms located in the United States.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 7,600.

Estimated Time per Response: 74 minutes (3-year average).

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 9,405 hours (3-year average).

Estimated Total Annual Cost: The total cost to respondents is estimated to be $272,839.

Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.

Legal Authority: Title 13, United States Code, Sections 182, 224, and 225.

IV. Request for Comments

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

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Dated: March 16, 2011.

Glenna Mickelson,

Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

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[FR Doc. 2011-6599 Filed 3-21-11; 8:45 am]