Manufacturers' Unfilled Orders Survey (M3UFO)

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About the Survey


The data collected in the Manufacturers' Unfilled Orders Survey (M3UFO) will be used to benchmark the new and unfilled orders information published in the monthly Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories, and Orders Survey (M3), which is an economic indicator survey based on a panel of domestic manufacturers. The collected annual sales data will be used to analyze differences in reporting between the company-based survey and plant level data from the Annual Survey of Manufactures, the source of benchmark data for the monthly shipments and inventory data.


The probability sample used for the M3UFO survey consists of roughly 6,000 companies and is updated annually to reflect newly identified companies. The initial sample frame represented about 210,000 manufacturing establishments located in the United States and classified in the selected M3 industry categories (see Content).


Data are collected and tabulated predominantly by 6-digit NAICS (North American Industry Classification System).

This company-based survey collects shipments and unfilled orders data for 42 M3 industry categories that are all believed to have unfilled orders. Eight of these industry categories are each broken into two categories, a defense component and a nondefense component, based on the relative sizes of the corresponding M3 estimates. Therefore, unfilled orders estimates are actually produced for 50 M3 industry categories. These 50 categories cover the following major groups in manufacturing:

Primary Metals
Fabricated Metal Products
Computers and Electronic Products
Electrical Equipment, Appliances, and Components
Transportation Equipment
Furniture and Related Products
Miscellaneous Products


The survey has been conducted annually by the U.S. Census Bureau since 2010.


Data are collected by form (iCADE) and Internet-based survey form (Centurion). Data describe manufacturing activities taking place during the calendar year.


The survey results may be found at in the Benchmark Reports Highlights section, "Annual Benchmark Data and Benchmark Procedures" file, "Unfilled Orders" tab.


Bureau of Economic Analysis, The Federal Reserve Board, Department of Treasury, Council of Economic Advisers, corporate economists, trade associations, news media, academia, investment consultants, and researchers use the Manufacturers' Shipments, Inventories, and Orders data, which includes the Unfilled Orders data, for analysis and forecasting of future economic conditions.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | BHS Team |   Last Revised: March 31, 2016 16:46:23