Appendix 9A A brief description of the Capital Expenditure Survey

9A.1 The Capital Expenditure Survey has a sample of some 27,000 establishments, both private and government-owned. The industry sectors are based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Even though the survey covers all industries, some industries are not actually surveyed. For instance, estimates for agriculture and fishing are produced with survey data and indirect indicators. For certain industries, estimates come from other sources or the survey is conducted separately from the main survey. A case in point is the Local Government Capital Expenditure Survey, which asks respondents to provide a specific breakdown of assets and spending by government function. Similarly, not all establishments are covered. The survey is sent to all establishments above a certain threshold, which varies by industry and province (take-all portion). Below the threshold, a sample is selected (take-some portion), and the results are blown up. For small establishments (take-none portion), tax data are used to produce estimates, which are included in the totals.

9A.2 The survey collects three sets of annual data (intentions, preliminary actual investment and actual investment) during two survey periods, and the results are released as shown below.

Table 9A.1 Release dates. Opens in a new browser window.

Table 9A.1
Release dates

9A.3 Establishments receive the regular questionnaire (long or short form), a specialized questionnaire (long or short form) or the new project questionnaire. The regular short questionnaire collects basic information on capital spending and changes in capital expenditure plans. The regular long questionnaire, used only in the survey on actual spending (i.e., t-2), is sent to establishments that previously reported large capital expenditures. In addition to basic data, it asks for a breakdown by type of asset, capitalized interest payments, asset lives, leasing, etc., and, every five years, the proportions of own-account work and contract work. Specialized questionnaires go to the mining and oil and gas industries. New-project questionnaires are sent to establishments not yet in the survey frame. Spending on repair and maintenance is requested only in the survey on actual investment.

9A.4 Additional information is available on the mining industry. The federal Department of Natural Resources collects the required data annually for mining operations, including general exploration expenditures (part of capital formation in SNA 1993), and the Industry Division does the same for the oil and gas industry, including geological and geophysical expenditures (part of capital formation in SNA 1993).


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