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For Immediate Release: Wednesday, December 15, 2021

2020 Annual Wholesale Trade Survey

Press Release Number CB21-TPS.149

DEC. 15, 2021 — U.S. merchant wholesalers had sales of $8,037.4 billion in 2020, a 6.6% decrease from $8,607.1 billion in 2019, according to estimates from the Annual Wholesale Trade Survey (AWTS) released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.


  • Sales of Motor Vehicle and Motor Vehicle Parts and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers (NAICS 4231) decreased 9.7%, from $953.7 billion in 2019 to $861.6 billion in 2020.
  • Petroleum and Petroleum Products Merchant Wholesalers (NAICS 4247) sales were $863.4 billion in 2020, down 33.1% from $1,291.0 billion in 2019.
  • Miscellaneous Durable Goods Merchant Wholesalers (NAICS 4239) had sales of $272.8 billion in 2020, up 7.5% from $253.8 billion in 2019. This industry includes firms primarily engaged in the merchant wholesale distribution of sporting, recreational, toy, hobby and jewelry goods and supplies; precious stones; and precious metals.
  • Drugs and Druggists’ Sundries Merchant Wholesalers (NAICS 4242) sales were $1,068.7 billion in 2020, a 5.3% increase from $1,015.3 billion in 2019.  

The AWTS includes statistics about merchant wholesalers of durable and nondurable goods; manufacturers’ sales branches and offices; and wholesale electronic markets, agents and brokers. It produces estimates of sales, e-commerce sales, inventories, purchases and operating expenses.

The Census Bureau has conducted this survey annually since 1978. The sample includes approximately 8,400 wholesale firms.

Tip sheet only. No news release associated with this product.



Kristina Barrett
Public Information Office
301-763-3030 or
877-861-2010 (U.S. and Canada only)





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