The U.S. Census Bureau recently released a collection of statistics on the wholesale trade sector of the economy, completing the 2012 Economic Census Industry Series, beginning the 2012 Economic Census Geographic Area Series, and releasing the 2013 Annual Wholesale Trade Report.
Preliminary statistics from the 2012 Economic Census show the sector had sales of $7.8 trillion, up 20.0 percent from the final published total of $6.5 trillion from the 2007 Economic Census. The number of establishments declined, however, from 434,983 in 2007 to 420,014 in 2012. According to estimates from the Annual Wholesale Trade Report, sales increased 3.0 percent from $7.8 trillion in 2012 to $8.0 trillion in 2013. This report presents data from merchant wholesalers of durable and nondurable goods, including manufacturers’ sales branches and offices, as well as agents and brokers.
· According to the 2012 Economic Census, sales for lumber and other construction materials merchant wholesalers (NAICS 4233) were $134.4 billion, down 21.6 percent from the 2007 figure of $171.4 billion. Meanwhile, the Annual Wholesale Trade Report shows estimated sales for this industry totaled $148.7 billion in 2013, up 10.6 percent from 2012.
· Merchant wholesale manufacturers’ sales branches and offices for apparel, piece goods, and notions (NAICS 4243) experienced a 56.3 percent decline in sales over the 2007-2012 period, from $8.5 billion to $3.7 billion, according to the Economic Census.
· The first state and local level 2012 Economic Census data for wholesale trade were recently released. They show that automobile and other motor vehicle merchant wholesalers (NAICS 423110) had the sector’s highest sales in 2012 in Colorado at $18.4 billion. By comparison, this industry was the fourth largest in the sector nationally, in terms of sales. The largest was petroleum bulk stations and terminals (NAICS 42471) at $876.5 billion. (Statistics for other states and geographic entities therein will be released on a flow basis over the course of the year.)
· The wholesale trade sector in Colorado followed the same pattern as the sector in the nation as a whole, with sales climbing 17.0 percent from $101.4 billion in 2007 to $118.6 billion in 2012, and establishments declining 0.9 percent from 7,290 to 7,224.
Monthly statistics are also available on wholesale trade but with less detail from the wholesale trade economic indicator. Data for January 2015 will be available from the Monthly Wholesale Trade Reporton March 10.
The data from the 2012 Economic Census (as well as historical information from the 2007, 2002, and 1997 economic censuses) are available via census.gov. Data from the latest Annual Wholesale Trade Report can be found on census.gov. Reference information about the economic census, including adata release schedule, is available on the 2012 Economic Census home page.