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About this Survey

Component ID: #ti1619179669

Purpose

To provide broad-based statistics on business spending for new and used structures and equipment. United States Code, Title 13, authorizes this survey and provides for mandatory responses.

Component ID: #ti1253497763

Coverage

All domestic, private, non-farm businesses, including agricultural non-farm (NAICS Subsectors 113, 114 and 115) including nonemployer businesses. Major exclusions are foreign operations of U.S. businesses, businesses in U.S. territories, government operations (including the U.S. Postal Service), agricultural production companies, and private households.

Component ID: #ti1253497764

Content

Basic data for each year include all expenditures during the year for both new and used structures and equipment chargeable to asset accounts for which depreciation or amortization accounts are ordinarily maintained. Also includes capitalized leasehold improvements and capitalized interest charges on loans used to finance capital projects. Also, every five years, for years ending in "3" and "8", detailed data by types of structures and types of equipment have been collected from companies with employees. In 2010, it was decided that this detailed data should be collected for years ending in "2" and "7" beginning in 2013, to align with the years in which the Economic Census is conducted.

Component ID: #ti1253497762

Methods

For the 2012 and prior ACES data collection; the Census Bureau used mail out/mail back survey forms to collect data. For the 2013 ACES, the Census Bureau collected data from employer companies primarily through electronic reporting and continued to use mail out/mail back survey forms to collect data from nonemployer companies. Beginning with the 2014 ACES, the Census Bureau now collects data from both employer and nonemployer companies primarily through electronic reporting. For the 2007 and prior ACES data collection, the sample consisted of approximately  45,000 companies with 1 or more employees and 15,000 companies with no paid employees. For the 2008 through 2015 ACES data collection, the nonemployer sample was increased to 30,000. For the 2016 ACES, the nonemployer sample was reduced from 30,000 to 20,000 and the sample size for employer businesses was increased from 45,000 to 50,000 cases. Larger companies are selected each year from the updated Business Register (BR); all companies with at least 500 paid employees are included in the survey; and smaller companies with employees are stratified by industry and payroll size and selected randomly by strata. Companies without employees are selected randomly without regard to industry classification.

The BR is updated continuously based on new information from Census Bureau programs and administrative records of other agencies. BR establishment-level data are consolidated to create company information for sampling purposes. Separate industry categories are 3- or 4-digit NAICS industries developed on the basis of the aggregate value of capital expenditures and the reportability of detailed expenditures information. Published data are weighted totals for all covered businesses, adjusted for companies that do not respond, and accompanied by standard error information.

Component ID: #ti1253497761

Products

The Annual Capital Expenditures Survey reports provide capital expenditures data about 12 months after each reference year. The reports provide new and used structures and equipment spending at the national level by 3-digit and selected 4-digit NAICS industries.
 
The Capital Spending Report is a bi-annual product and provides a historical look at the industry investment shares and capital spending patterns for structures and equipment by all U.S. businesses.
 
In addition, both reports summarize findings, describe survey background and concepts, and explain sample and estimation methods. To access these reports, see the Library section of this survey site.  
 

Component ID: #ti1253497760

Uses

Data on the amount of business expenditures for new plant and equipment and measures of the stock of existing facilities are critical to evaluate productivity growth, the ability of U.S. business to compete with foreign business, changes in industrial capacity, and measures of overall economic performance.

Component ID: #ti1253497757

Some important uses of the ACES data include:

  • Industry analysts use the data for market analysis, economic forecasting, identifying business opportunities, developing new and strategic plans. 
  • The Bureau of Economic Analysis uses the data to refine annual estimates of investment in structures and equipment in the national income and product accounts, and to improve estimates of capital stocks. 
  • The Federal Reserve Board uses the data to improve estimates of investment indicators for monetary policy. 
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics uses the data to improve estimates of capital stocks for productivity analysis. 
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services use the data for monitoring and evaluating healthcare industries. 
  • The Department of the Treasury uses the data to analyze of depreciation. 
  • Private companies, organizations, educators and students, and economic researchers use the survey results for analyzing and conducting impact evaluations on past and current economic performance, short-term economic forecasts, productivity, long-term economic growth, tax policy, capacity utilization, business fixed capital stocks and capital formation, domestic and international competitiveness trade policy, market research, and financial analysis.

Component ID: #ti1253497759

Special Features

ACES provides the only comprehensive estimates of annual U.S. capital expenditures data covering all domestic non-farm businesses and detailing investments by type and industry.

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