The Information and Communication Technology Survey (ICTS), a supplement to the Annual Capital Expenditures Survey (ACES), was created in response to economic data user and policymaker concerns about the lack of available data on e-business infrastructure investment by nonfarm businesses. Rapid advances in ICT equipment result in these assets having short useful lives and being replaced at a much faster rate than other types of equipment. As a result, rather than capitalizing the value of such assets and expensing the cost over two or more years, companies often expense the full cost of such assets during the current annual period. In some cases this same-period expense is also because companies have varying dollar levels for capitalization. Hence, the survey gives users a more complete idea of U.S. companies’ total investment in ICT equipment. The statistics are used to assess future productivity and economic growth prospects and permit the reconciliation of important differences between reported production and consumption of technology.
Companies are expensing the full cost of such assets during the current annual period rather than capitalizing the value of such assets and expensing the cost over two or more years. In some cases this is due to the short useful life of the asset, and in other cases this is because companies have varying dollar levels for capitalization. The ICTS data are critical for providing improved source data to the investment component of gross domestic product, capital stock estimates, and capital flow tables.
The 2010 estimates included in this report are based on data collected from a sample of 46,448 companies with employees. The sample frame for companies with employees was slightly more than 5.7 million. Check out the full report at: http://www.census.gov/econ/ict/xls/2010/full_report.html
The chart above is from the 2010 Information and Communication Technology Survey Summary of Findings report which is available at: http://www.census.gov/econ/ict/xls/2010/summary_of_findings.html