U.S. Fed to conduct census of finance companies

09:29, May 19, 2010      

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The U.S. Federal Reserve System in May will begin its 2010 Census of Finance Companies to paint a complete and continuing picture of the sector of the U.S. economy in the aftermath of the financial crisis, said the central bank on Tuesday.

"The Federal Reserve System is conducting this census to collect basic information on the size and structure of the companies that supply credit to households or businesses," Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said in a letter to prospective census participants. "The results will contribute to better-informed policy decisions."

Bernanke's letter was sent to approximately 27,000 companies across the country. The Fed said that the responses will be kept confidential.

The assets and liabilities of finance companies have been surveyed by the Federal Reserve at roughly five-year intervals since 1955. The data collected provide a benchmark for the System's monthly report on the outstanding accounts receivable of finance companies and provide a comprehensive update on these companies' sources of funds.

This information in turn becomes an important input to the estimates of total consumer credit and the U.S. flow of funds accounts.

The Fed said that results of the 2010 Census of Finance Companies, which is unrelated to the 2010 Census of Population, will be published in an upcoming edition of the Federal Reserve Bulletin.



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