Market Trends Research

Understanding your overall market -- how your industry is structured, how it’s performing, and how it’s changing -- can help you better steer your marketing efforts. To help you find this sort of information we provide sources that contain industry surveys or market share statistics. In print, we offer a comprehensive, up-to-date series of industry guides (Plunkett’s Almanacs) by industry, such as biotechnology, apparel, e-commerce, etcetera. Our databases are also great sources for industry and market trends research. The “Industry Overview” feature in our Business Insights: Global database is especially helpful, as are industry overviews in Mergent and Ebscohost's Business Source Complete.

Industry Overviews

  • Market Share Reporter. Gale Research Inc. Annual compilation of market share data on U.S. companies, products & services.
  • S&P Capital IQ Industry Surveys. Standard & Poors Inc. Summaries for broad industry categories and detailed business segments. Includes forecasts, sales data, industry ratios; lists leading companies.
  • Value Line Investment Survey. Value Line Inc. Concise summary for each major industry group. Provides product outlook and 5 year financial statistics.

Industry Ratios

  • Almanac of Business and Industrial Financial Ratios. Leo Troy.
  • RMA Annual Statement Studies. RMA, Robert Morris Associates
  • Industry Norms & Key Business Ratios. Dun & Bradstreet
  • IRS Corporate Financial Ratios. Schonfeld and Associates, Inc.

Ratios for Small Businesses

Industry Statistics

  • Statistical Abstract of the United States. U.S. Bureau of the Census.
  • Vast compendium of government and privately compiled statistics. Valuable for locating agencies & associations that publish industry data.

Internet Resources

  • Economic Census. U.S. Census Bureau
    Every five years the U.S. Census Bureau conducts an economic census, including: manufacturers, service industries, retail trade, wholesale trade, and industrial reports.

Industry Associations

Trade or industry associations are an excellent, and often the only, source of industry information.

  • Encyclopedia of Business Information Sources. Gale Research Inc. Associations, professional societies, and publications for numerous businesses & services.
  • National Trade & Professional Associations of the U.S. Columbia Books. Good addition or alternative to the Encyclopedia of Associations.
  • Small Business Sourcebook. Gale Research. Annual.

Industry Surveys

To find industry surveys in the online catalog, try a keyword search on the industry name and the word "statistics". You can also ask the librarians at the Business, Science & Technology Center to search for  industry surveys from the U.S. Industry & Trade Collection. The trade directories in this section often contain market data as well as product information.

Trade Periodicals -- Online Resources

Magazine articles are often the best source of current market information. You can search for relevant articles on our online databases. Look for an Industry Overview on a particular industry or for subject subdivisions such as economic aspects, forecasts, market share, statistics. Investment analysts' reports on an individual company will also provide valuable industry information.

Currently the best resources for market research are:

  • Business Insights: Global.  Search under Industry for an overview on a particular industry, or for subject subdivisions such as economic aspects, forecasts, market share, or statistics. Investment analysts' reports on an individual company will also provide valuable industry information.
  • Business Source Complete (EBSCO) Look for industry subheadings such as economic aspects, forecasting, or statistics.

Trade Periodicals -- Special Issues

A selection of special issues of trade magazines can be found in the U.S. Industry & Trade Collection. This includes annual buying guide issues, annual industry survey issues, and more. Ask the librarian staff at the Business, Science & Technology Center to help you find such issues.

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