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Industry Information: Home

Guide to industry information sources.

Industry Codes and Researching Industries


Industry codes (NAICS, SIC) are hierarchic, numeric schemes to define and distinguish one industry from another. Industries are grouped by similar production process. NAICS codes are most frequently used, though some publishers use SIC codes. About Industry Classification Codes

NAICS codes 
SIC codes

Industry information is found in trade journals, association websites, industry/investment analysts’ reports, nonprofit and government information sources (eg. EPA Industry Letters, EIA reports, Economic Census), market research reports, and commercial industry reports.

For industry research, one needs essential facts as well as in-depth analysis. Read trade journals that focus on the industry. Consult industry association publications, websites and datacenters for the data compiled about their industry. 

Industry Analysis/Trends/Forecasts


US Census Bureau Economic Programs includes the following:

  1. Manufacturing and Construction Manufacturing: manufacturing inventories, orders, shipments, exports, plant capacity, energy consumption. Construction: building permits, construction, sales, housing characteristics 
  2. Wholesale trade: monthly and annual sales, inventories, operating expenses
  3. Quarterly Financial Report for Manufacturing, Mining, and Trade Corporationsestimated statements of income and retained earnings, balance sheets, and related financial and operating ratios
  4. Economic Census: every 5 years, latest conducted 2017. All industrial categories — payroll, expenses, sales, and value added, to the zip code level. 2017 census data data will be released between September 2019 and December 2021. Complete data for earlier censuses available.

Federal Statistical Agencies
Links to all federal statistics agencies, eg. Census of Agriculture, Health statistics, Crime statistics, etc. - Search across all federal statistical agency datasets.

Statistical Abstracts from 1879-2010 available here.

Links to Statistical Agencies (US agencies, national agencies of other countries, and International)

Industry Financial Ratios

US Census Bureau’s provides composite quarterly ratios for manufacturing, mining, wholesale and service industries. 

RMA Annual Statement StudiesFinancial Ratio Benchmarks. AnnualBased on financial statements submitted to banks, composite financial and operating ratios for mfg., wholesale, retail, service industries. 750+ lines of business are covered. Upper quartile, median and lower quartile values are presented. Explanations of balance sheet and income data, definitions of ratios, and sources of financial information for industries not covered.

Almanac of Business and Industrial Financial RatiosCompiled  from tax returns submitted to the IRS. 190 lines of business covered and 50 performance indicators are covered. Only the industry average is presented, but each line of business has more companies represented than the RMA.  Companies making a profit that year are presented in a separate table.

Industry Norms and Key Business Ratios. Financial and operating ratios for 800 lines of business. Balance sheet and income statement information and 14 financial ratios. More lines of business covered.

Subject Guide

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Hilary Schiraldi
Business Library
S350 Haas School of Business