Retail Commodity Survey (RCS)

Summary of changes

Activity on this program started: January 1971

Reference period of change - February 2022

Beginning with this release, this survey is based on a new restratified sample. The purpose of a restratification is to improve the 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), and the reclassification of companies within, into and out of the retail trade industry. Some of the year-over-year changes may reflect differences in the characteristics of businesses selected in the old and new samples. Estimates for the monthly table have been revised back to January 2019 while for the quarterly table, they've been revised to the first quarter of 2017.

Reference period of change - June 2020

Target population - Starting with this month, estimates at the 3 digit North American Industry Classification System level for 454 will be released on a quarterly basis.

Reference period of change - first quarter 2019

Starting with the release of this quarter, national commodity estimates will now be released on a monthly frequency. As a result, the series from the Survey of Large Monthly Retailers (LMR) has been terminated. Units within the panel of LMR continue to be part of the sample for RCS.

Reference period of change - third quarter 2016

As of the July 2016 reference month, the questionnaire for the Retail Commodity Survey (RCS) has been combined with the questionnaire for the Monthly Retail Trade Survey (MRTS). Please see Record number 2406 for further information on the MRTS.

Commodity classification - Starting with this quarter, estimates are released using the 2012 North American Product Classification System and the electronic questionnaire was added as the primary mode of data collection.

Reference period of change - first quarter 2013

Target population - Starting with this quarter, estimates are released using the 2012 North American Industry Classification System.

Reference period of change - first quarter 2010

Beginning with the first quarter 2010, published data are based on an updated sample. The new level of estimates has led to a time series revision back to the first quarter of 2004.

Some of the year-over-year changes may reflect differences in the characteristics of businesses selected in the old and new samples.

Target population - Starting with this quarter, estimates are released using the 2007 North American Industry Classification System.

Reference period of change - first quarter 2004

Target population - Beginning with the first quarter of 2004, QRCS estimates are released using the 2002 North American Industry Classification System and hence are not comparable to estimates published prior to 2004, which used the 1980 Standard Industrial Classification.

Reference period of change - third quarter 2000

With the first release of the Quarterly Retail Commodity Survey, on December 21, 1998, quarterly commodity estimates were made available for 1997 through to the second quarter of 1998.

Reference period of change - 1989

The annual Retail Commodity Survey was discontinued after the 1989 reference period.

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