A monthly statistical report produced by the Bureau of the Census that measures companies’ inventory levels, which is an indicator of the health of business conditions and future manufacturing orders. The survey is conducted by mail and is sent to about 7,100 wholesale firms. The companies report the dollar values of merchant wholesale sales, end-of-month inventories, and how they value their inventories. The data is released six weeks after the end of the month referenced. Firms are grouped by merchant wholesale sales, inventories, and their primary type of business. The data also measures any changes in the inventories-to-sales ratio.