Wholesale Trade Survey (Monthly) (MWTS)

Summary of changes

Activity on this program started: 1948

Reference period of change - February 2018

Starting with this month's release, data collected from the Monthly Wholesale Trade Survey are classified according to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) 2017.

Reference period of change - March 2017

Beginning with this release, the survey is based on a new restratified sample. The purpose of a restratification is to improve a sample to account for changes to a population that occur over time. As a result, estimates for previous periods have been revised to account for the new levels from the restratified sample. In addition, data have been revised to incorporate new information based on late receipt of respondent information, correction of information on data provided, the replacement of estimated figures with actual values (once available), the reclassification of companies within, into and out of the wholesale trade industry and updates to seasonal and trading day factors.
Seasonally adjusted estimates will be revised back to 2009. Unadjusted estimates will be revised back to 2012.
A new estimation method was also implemented. This method, the ratio estimator, consists of using auxiliary information coming from administrative sources in order to get more precise estimates. The source of administrative data used is the Goods and Services Tax (GST) file from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). Since there is a strong correlation between the sales from the GST file coming from CRA and sales collected by the survey, the use of these administrative data allows to increase the accuracy of the estimates.

Reference period of change - July 2016

Beginning with this reference period, the Monthly Wholesale Trade Survey will employ an electronic questionnaire. Modifications made to accommodate the new electronic questionnaire format were primarily cosmetic and respondents were given an opportunity to comment before the new electronic questionnaire was finalized.

Reference period of change - February 2013

Beginning with this reference period, the Monthly Wholesale Trade Survey will publish its estimates based on the the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS 2012).

Reference period of change - July 2012

With this release of the Monthly Wholesale Trade Survey (MWTS) results, a new deflation methodology for wholesale sales has been implemented.

This new methodology improves on the previous one, and consequently its results are not strictly comparable to those already published, although the overall trends are similar. The CANSIM table 081-0013 containing the previous estimates has been terminated and the improved results can be found in CANSIM table 081-0015.

Reference period of change - February 2010

Beginning with this release, the survey is based on a new restratified sample. The purpose of a restratification is to improve a sample to account for changes to a population that occur over time. As a result, estimates for previous periods have been revised to account for the new levels from the restratified sample. In addition, data have been revised to incorporate new information based on late receipt of respondent information, correction of information on data provided, the replacement of estimated figures with actual values (once available), the reclassification of companies within, into and out of the wholesale trade industry and updates to seasonal and trading day factors.

Data for wholesale trade are presented based directly on the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS 2007) basis, rather than using the trade group variant of NAICS.

The unadjusted and seasonally adjusted estimates are revised back to January 2004.

Reference period of change - February 2008

Revisions and seasonal adjustment - Since April 2008, the Monthly Wholesale Trade Survey data are seasonally adjusted using the X11-method found in the X12-ARIMA software. This consists of extrapolating a year's worth of raw data with the ARIMA model (auto-regressive integrated moving average model), and of seasonally adjusting the raw time series. And then, the annual totals of the seasonally adjusted series are forced to the annual totals of the original series.

Reference period of change - October 2005

This release marks the implementation of measures to reduce response burden in the Monthly Wholesale Trade Survey. Data previously collected via questionnaire for a number of simple wholesale establishments in the survey sample are now replaced with modeled estimates based on Goods and Services Tax (GST) returns.

Unadjusted and seasonally adjusted monthly estimates in current dollars have been revised starting from January 1993. Estimates in constant price have also been revised from 1997 to 2005.

Reference period of change - April 2004

Beginning with this reference period, the Monthly Wholesale Trade Survey will publish its estimates based on the trade group variant of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS 2002). Some examples of changes include the transfer of building supply and home centres to Retail Trade and of establishments servicing machinery and equipment to the Service Industries. The NAICS-based estimates are not comparable with the previously published estimates based on the Standard Classification (SIC) of 1980. Therefore, in order to facilitate this transition, NAICS-based historical series from January 1993 to March 2004 have been produced.

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