Every month the U.S. Census Bureau gathers data from domestic wholesale firms on sales and inventories. The “Monthly Wholesale Trade” survey includes wholesale merchants, distributors, exporters, and importers but excludes manufacturers, refiners, and miners selling their own products.
U.S. wholesale revenue in September 2023 (PDF) stood at $678.14 billion, up from $663.72 billion from the previous month and $671.79 billion in September 2022, an increase of 2.17% and 0.95%, respectively.
Per the Census Bureau, the info from the survey “offers business leaders and policymakers a current assessment of the nation’s economic status and plays a vital role in estimating the quarterly gross domestic product.”
U.S. wholesale Inventories for September 2023 were $901.81 billion, slightly higher than $900.27 billion in August and down from $912.42 billion one year ago.
Separately, every two weeks the Census Bureau conducts its “Business Trends and Outlook” survey gauging the broader state of the U.S. economy. The survey queries around 1.2 million companies on their performance, revenue changes, employment levels, working hours, operating status, demand trends, prices, and other factors.
The “Wholesale Trade” sector of the survey consists of (i) merchant wholesalers who sell goods on their own behalf and (ii) B2B electronic markets, agents, and brokers who facilitate sales and purchases for others.
According to the November 2023 data, wholesale businesses in the U.S. assessed their current performance thus far in 2023 as “growing,” although at a slightly slower pace than the previous month.
Although moderately higher than the previous month, revenue for U.S. wholesale businesses continues to decline as of November 2023.