Short-term business statistics (sts)

Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union


Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4.Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Dissemination format
11. Accessibility of documentation
12. Quality management
13. Relevance
14. Accuracy
15. Timeliness and punctuality
16. Comparability
17. Coherence
18. Cost and Burden
19. Data revision
20. Statistical processing
21. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)



For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT

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1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

1.2. Contact organisation unit

G3: Short-term statistics and tourism

1.5. Contact mail address 2920 Luxembourg LUXEMBOURG


2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 05/08/2014
2.2. Metadata last posted 05/08/2014
2.3. Metadata last update 05/08/2014


3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

Short-term statistics (STS) give information on a wide range of economic activities according to NACE Rev.2 classification (Statistical Classification of Economic Activities in the European Community). The industrial import price indices offer information according to the CPA classification (Statistical Classification of Products by Activity in the European Economic Community). Construction indices are broken down by Classification of Types of Construction (CC).

All data under this heading are index data. Percentage changes are also available for each indicator.

The index data aregenerally presentedin the following forms:

  • Unadjusted
  • Calendar adjusted
  • Seasonally adjusted

Depending on the STS regulation data are accessible as monthly, quarterly and annual data. This heading covers the indicators listed below in four different sectors.

Based on the national data, Eurostat compiles EU and euro area infra-annual economic statistics. Among these, a list of indicators, called Principal European Economic Indicators (PEEIs) has been identified by key users as being of prime importance for the conduct of monetary and economic policy of the euro area. These indicators are mainly released through Eurostat's website under the heading Euro-indicators.

There are eight PEEIs contributed by STS and they are marked with * in the text below.

INDUSTRY

  • Production (volume)*
  • Turnover: Total, Domestic market and Non-domestic market==> A further breakdown of the non-domestic turnover into euro area and non euro area is available for the euro area countries
  • Producer prices (output prices)*: Total, Domestic market and Non-domestic market==> A further breakdown of the non-domestic producer prices into euro area and non euro area is available for the euro area countries
  • Import prices*: Total, Euro area market, Non euro area market (euro area countries only)
  • Labour input indicators: Number of persons employed, Hours worked, Gross wages and salaries

CONSTRUCTION

  • Production (volume)*: Total of the construction sector, Building construction, Civil Engineering
  • Building permits indicators*: Number of dwellings, Square meters of useful floor (or alternative size measure)
  • Construction costs or prices: Construction costs, Material costs, Labour costs (if not available, they may be approximated by the Output prices variable)
  • Labour input indicators: Number of persons employed, Hours worked, Gross wages and salaries

WHOLESALE AND RETAIL TRADE

  • Volume of sales (deflated turnover)*
  • Turnover (value)
  • Labour input indicators: Number of persons employed, Hours worked, Gross wages and salaries

SERVICES

  • Turnover (in value)*
  • Labour input indicators: Number of persons employed, Hours worked, Gross wages and salaries
  • Producer prices (Output prices )*
3.2. Classification system

NACE Rev.2 classification (Statistical Classification of Economic Activities in the European Community) is used for all the STS indicators, except Industrial Import Prices; for this indicator, the information is available according to CPA classification (Statistical Classification of Products by Activity in the European Economic Community).The split of the construction indicators into Building and Civil engineering is made based on CC classification (Classification of Types of Construction).

3.3. Coverage - sector

INDUSTRY
The indicators in this sector cover economic activities listed in sections B to E of NACE (B-Mining and quarrying, C-Manufacturing, D-Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply, E-Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities) ; the import prices indicator covers products listed in Sections B, C and D of the CPA.

CONSTRUCTION
The indicators in this sector cover economic activities listed in section F of NACE (Construction). The breakdown into Building and Civil engineering required for certain indicators is based on CC classification.

WHOLESALE AND RETAIL TRADE
The indicators in this sector cover economic activities listed in section G of NACE (Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles).

SERVICES
The indicators in this sector cover economic activities listed in sections H, I, J, M and N of NACE (H-Transportation and Storage, I-Accommodation and food service activities, J-Information and communication, M-Professional, scientific and technical activities, N-Administrative and support service activities).

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

Detailed definitions of each indicator are described in the Commission Regulation 1503/2006.

PRODUCTION
The objective of the production index is to measure changes in the volume of output at close and regular intervals, normally monthly. It provides a measure of the volume trend in value added over a given reference period. The production index is a theoretical measure that must be approximated by practical measures.
Value added at basic prices can be calculated from turnover (excluding VAT and other similar deductible taxes directly linked to turnover), plus capitalised production, plus other operating income plus or minus the changes in stocks, minus the purchases of goods and services, minus taxes on products which are linked to turnover but not deductible plus any subsidies on products received. The division of production in construction between building construction and civil engineering is based on the classification of types of construction (CC).

TURNOVER
The objective of the turnover index is to show the development of the market for goods and services.
Turnover comprises the totals invoiced by the observation unit during the reference period, and this corresponds to market sales of goods or services supplied to third parties. Turnover also includes all other charges (transport, packaging, etc.) passed on to the customer, even if these charges are listed separately in the invoice.
Turnover excludes VAT and other similar deductible taxes directly linked to turnover as well as all duties and taxes on the goods or services invoiced by the unit.
The indices of domestic and non-domestic turnover require turnover to be split according to the first destination of the product based on the change of ownership. The destination is determined by the residency of the third party that purchased the goods and services. Non-domestic turnover is further sub-divided into turnover despatched to euro-zone countries and all other non-domestic turnover.

VOLUME OF SALES
The volume of sales represents the value of turnover in constant prices and as such is a quantity index. It is normally calculated as turnover at current prices, deflated by the deflator of sales.

PRODUCER PRICES (OUTPUT PRICES)
The producer prices are also known as output prices. However, although the STS-Regulations use the term of "output prices", in practice the most used term is "producer prices". The definition in this paragraph reflects the terminology used in the Commission Regulation 1503/2006.
The objective of the output price index is to measure the monthly development of transaction prices of economic activities.
The domestic output price index for an economic activity measures the average price development of all goods and related services resulting from that activity and sold on the domestic market. The non-domestic price index shows the average price development (expressed in the national currency) of all goods and related services resulting from that activity and sold outside of the domestic market. When combined, these two indices show the average price development of all goods and related services resulting from an activity.
It is essential that all price-determining characteristics of the products are taken into account, including quantity of units sold, transport provided, rebates, service conditions, guarantee conditions and destination.
The indices of domestic and non-domestic prices require separate output price indices to be compiled according to the destination of the product. The destination is determined by the residency of the third party that has ordered or purchased the product. Output prices for the non-domestic market are further sub-divided into output prices for products despatched to euro-zone countries and all other output prices.

IMPORT PRICES
The objective of the import price indices is to measure the monthly transaction price development of imported goods purchased from non-domestic areas by domestic residents. All the related services are excluded from the scope. It is essential that all price-determining characteristics of the products are taken into account, including quantity of units sold, transport provided, rebates, service conditions, guarantee conditions origin and destination. The non-domestic market is defined as third parties, which are not resident in the same national territory as the observation unit.
The indices of the import prices require a separate calculation according to the country of consignment of the product. The country of consignment is determined in a consistent way with customs procedures. Import prices are sub-divided into imports from euro-zone countries and imports from other countries.

NUMBER OF PERSONS EMPLOYED
The objective of the index of number of persons employed is to show the development of employment.
The number of persons employed is defined as the total number of persons who work in the observation unit (inclusive of working proprietors, partners working regularly in the unit and unpaid family workers), as well as persons who work outside the unit who belong to it and are paid by it (e.g. sales representatives, delivery personnel, repair and maintenance teams).

HOURS WORKED
The objective of the hours worked index is to show the development in the volume of work done. The total number of hours worked represents the aggregate number of hours actually worked for the output of the observation unit during the reference period.

WAGES AND SALARIES
The objective of the wages and salaries index is to approximate the development of the wage and salaries bill. Wages and salaries are defined as the total remuneration, in cash or in kind, payable to all persons counted on the payroll (including home workers), in return for work done during the accounting period, regardless of whether it is paid on the basis of working time, output or piecework and whether it is paid regularly.

CONSTRUCTION COSTS
The objective of the construction cost index is to show the development of costs incurred by the contractor to carry out the construction process. The cost indices are mandatory for new residential buildings (excluding residencies for communities). The component costs index (material costs and labour costs) shows the price developments of production factors used in the construction industry. Output price indices for construction can be used as an approximation for the construction cost variables.

The MATERIAL COSTS index is generally calculated using material prices. Prices of materials should be based on actual prices rather than list prices. Prices should be based on a sample of products and suppliers. Prices are valued excluding VAT.

The LABOUR COSTS index should cover wages and salaries and social security charges for all persons employed.

BUILDING PERMITS: NUMBER OF DWELLINGS, SQUARE METRES OF USEFUL FLOOR AREA
The objective of the number of dwelling building permit index is to show the future development of construction activity in terms of unit numbers, while the objective of the useful floor area building permit index to show the future development of construction activity in terms of useful floor area or an alternative size measure.
A building permit is an authorisation to start work on a building project. As such, a permit is the final stage of planning and building authorisations from public authorities, prior to the start of work.

3.5. Statistical unit

The STS-Regulations require the use of the following observation units:

  • KAU (Kind of activity unit) for the indicators in industry and construction;
  • Enterprise for the indicators in wholesale and retail trade and services.

In practice, however, several Member States collect the information from the enterprises rather than from the KAU (Data collection on the level of the KAU requires a greater degree of detail which is often not available, e.g. in administrative sources.)

3.6. Statistical population

The statistical population comprises the observation units (KAUs or enterprises) operating in the NACE/CPA classes mentioned below.

INDUSTRY

  • Production: sections B, C, D of NACE (D353 excluded)
  • Turnover: sections B and C of NACE
  • Import prices: Sections B, C, D of  CPA (B0721, B09, C18, C2446, C254, C301, C303, C304, C33 not included)
  • Labour input indicators (Number of persons employed, Hours worked, Gross wages and salaries): Sections B to E of NACE (E37, E38 and E39 not included)

CONSTRUCTION

  • Production: section F of NACE broken down to building construction and civil engineering according to Classification of Types of Construction (CC)
  • Building permits indicators:
    o Number of dwellings: CC11 excluding CC113 (New residential buildings excluding residencies for communities)
    o Square metres of useful floor: CC1 (Buildings)
  • Construction costs (Construction costs, Material costs and Labour costs): CC11 excluding CC 113 (New residential buildings excluding residencies for communities)
  • Labour input indicators (Number of persons employed, Hours worked, Gross wages and salaries): section F

WHOLESALE AND RETAIL TRADE

  • Volume of sales (deflated turnover): section G of NACE (G45, G46, G47)
  • Turnover (in value): section G of NACE (G45, G46, G47)
  • Labour input indicators (Number of persons employed, Hours worked, Gross wages and salaries): section G (G45, G46,G47 excluding G47.3)

SERVICES

  • Turnover (value):  sections H, I, J, M, N of NACE
  • Labour input indicators ( Number of persons employed, Hours worked, Gross wages and salaries): sections H, I, J, M, N  of NACE
  • Producer prices (Output prices): sections H, J, M, N of NACE

Detailed information on the level of detail of the data to be delivered by each country and therefore, on the target statistical population for each country, is available from the STS requirements, available here. The STS-Regulations allows simplified reporting for small countries (below certain thresholds).

3.7. Reference area

Euro area, European Union, EU individual Member States and EFTA countries.

Data referring to candidate countries to the EU, and aggregates for the US and Japan are also published if available.

3.8. Coverage - Time

Time coverage varies from series to series. Typically, time series cover the period back to 1998, the year the STS regulation was adopted.  Some countries provide data for earlier years. Historical series for a limited number of indices are available back to the 1980's.

3.9. Base period

Year 2010 = 100


4. Unit of measure Top

Indices, percentage changes (%).


5. Reference Period Top

INDUSTRY

  • Production: Month
  • Turnover: Month
  • Producer prices (Output prices): Month
  • Import prices: Month
  • Labour input indicators: at least quarter (monthly data may be provided by some countries)

 CONSTRUCTION

  • Production: Month for those Member States whose value added in Section F of NACE in a given base year represents at least 2% of the European Community total, Quarter for the others
  • Building permits indicators: at least quarter
  • Construction costs (Construction input prices; can be approximated by output prices): at least quarter
  • Labour input indicators: at least quarter

WHOLESALE AND RETAIL TRADE

  • Volume of sales (deflated turnover): Month
  • Turnover (value): Month
  • Labour input indicators: Quarter

SERVICES

  • Turnover (value): Quarter
  • Producer prices(Output prices): Quarter
  • Labour input indicators: Quarter


6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

The legal basis for the STS indicators is the Council Regulation No 1165/98 of 19 May 1998 concerning short-term statistics , amended by the Regulation No 1158/2005 of 6 July 2005 concerning short-term statistics and by the Regulation (EC) No 1893/2006 of 20 December 2006 establishing the statistical classification of economic activities NACE Revision 2, herein referred as STS regulations or STS-R.

The definitions of short-term statistics variables are laid down in Commission Regulation No1503/2006 of 28 September 2006 implementing and amending Council Regulation N° 1165/98 of 19 May 1998 concerning short-term statistics as regards the definition of variables.

The Commission Regulation 657/2007 on European Sample Schemes, amended by the Commission Regulation 1178/2008, reduces the scope of data delivery for some countries and variables (import prices, output prices and new orders).

The classification by the main industrial groupings (MIG-s) is defined by the Commission Regulation No 656/2007.

A consolidated version of the STS-R and an overview of all other regulations can be found here. 

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

Eurostat makes available all the non-confidential data on its dissemination website. Selected data in special formats are transmitted daily to the ECB (European Central Bank) and monthly to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development).


7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

In some cases, Member States transmit data to Eurostat with the request not to publish these data. Eurostat has the right to publish those data that are delivered according to a legal act and are not considered to be of truly confidential nature (Article 20 of Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2009). The Member States are obliged to ensure a sufficient degree of representativeness of data (STS-Regulation, Article 10 (1)). Several cases have to be distinguished:

Confidentiality - if data are of truly confidential nature according to the above mentioned regulation (data which allow statistical units to be identified, either directly or indirectly), they have to be flagged confidential, and they will not be published by Eurostat.

Embargo - to enable Eurostat to produce press releases, sometimes data are sent to Eurostat before the national release. Those data, if considered under embargo, will not be published by Eurostat until the embargo expires. This case is currently handled by using confidentiality flags.

Data should not be published by Eurostat on request of a Member State - there is the (relatively rare) case that data are of good quality, but for some reasons, countries would not want these data to be published. In such a case the NSI should contact Eurostat and express their request that Eurostat should not publish these data. An informal agreement is needed between Eurostat and a NSI.

Quality issues

(a) bad quality - If national data of questionable quality are submitted to Eurostat to satisfy the requirements of the STS-Regulation and these data are flagged as confidential, Eurostat will refuse receiving the bad quality data.

(b) data good enough for European aggregates, but not reliable on a national level - If data are not reliable at a national level, but are considered to be a reliable input for a European aggregate, the national data can be flagged confidential and will not be published by Eurostat. In this case an informal agreement is needed between Eurostat and a NSI if there is no other agreement (such as laid down by Commission Regulation 657/2007 on European Sample Schemes).


8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

European aggregates of Principal European Economic Indicators (PEEIs, with or without news releases, see 10.1) are released and revised once per month for both monthly and quarterly time series. Release dates are available in the STS release calendar. Additionally, news releases are announced in Eurostat's release calendar. 

National data (not under embargo), European aggregates of STS labour indicators and construction costs or prices and industrial turnover are released and revised when new information becomes available.

The countries announce their release dates one year in advance. Based on the information provided by the countries, Eurostat makes public its own release and revision calendar containing the publication dates of the European aggregates of PEEIs in October for the following calendar year. A few days before the publication, these dates are officially confirmed.

8.2. Release calendar access

Release calendar for Euro Indicators covers all Principal European Economic Indicators (PEEIs) released in Eurostat's news releases (see 10.1.).

Release calendar for short-term statistics PEEIs covers all PEEIs based on Council Regulation 1165/1998 of 19 May 1998 concerning short-term statistics. This calendar includes both news releases and data releases without a news release.

National Statistical Institutes release calendars can be found on the web sites of National Statistical Institutes.

8.3. Release policy - user access

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice, Eurostat disseminates European statistics on Eurostat's website (see item 10 - 'Dissemination format') respecting professional independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.

In line with this protocol and on a strictly regulated basis, data on key indicators are sent for information to the European Central Bank (ECB) under embargo the evening before official release of data. 


9. Frequency of dissemination Top

European levels: Monthly, quarterly and yearly frequency for each indicator, except producer prices in services, which is published with quarterly frequency only. The highest frequency depends on the frequencies of data transmissions from Member States to Eurostat.

National levels: monthly, quarterly and yearly frequency, the highest frequency (monthly or quarterly) depends on the frequencies of national data transmitted to Eurostat.


10. Dissemination format Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

News releases on-line. News releases are issued at 11 a.m CET on Eurostat's website. These publications release each month selections of the most important EU aggregates, together with selected data from the Member States. The following news releases are published every month:

  • Industrial producer prices
  • Volume of retail trade
  • Industrial production
  • Production in construction
10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

Besides the monthly news releases, selected topics are published ad-hoc within the collection Statistics in Focus. The publication of Quarterly Panorama of the European Business Statistics was discontinued in 2012 (last release No 4/2011 in December 2011).

In the Statistics Explained collection, around 15 articles are regularly updated with more up-to-date STS data. Additionally, several background documents explain to the users the most relevant STS topics (legislation, seasonal adjustment, revision policy etc.).

All these publications and some other ad-hoc publications are accessible on Short-Term Business Statistics dedicated section.

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

STS data are disseminated in full detail in the Short-Term Business Statistics dedicated section. A subset of pre-defined tables and indicators are disseminated in the "Euro-Indicators/PEEIs" collection as well.

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Not applicable, no micro-data available at Eurostat.

10.5. Dissemination format - other

Not applicable.


11. Accessibility of documentation Top
11.1. Documentation on methodology

The Methodology of Short-term Business Statistics, Interpretation and guidelines, 2006, contains a comprehensive set of recommendations on the compilation of the STS statistics.

Further methodological documents are available on the Short-Term Business Statistics dedicated section.

Detailed methodological information on the national methodologies is available from the STS sources and PEEIs in focus (see "11.2. Quality documentation"). 

11.2. Quality management - documentation

Eurostat published detailed quality reports for almost all PEEI ("PEEI in focus"). The available reports can be downloaded here.

The reports from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament concerning Short-Term Statistics give also information on quality aspects of the STS.

Up todate quality documentation is also published on the Short-Term Business Statistics dedicated section.


12. Quality management Top
12.1. Quality assurance

Quality checks and validation of data are done throughout the whole process: first by the providers of data i.e. countries, then by Eurostat in the calculation of European aggregates. The quality is regularly monitored on the basis of the following inputs:

  • The latest update of the STS sources
  • The PEEIs in focus
  • Usual quality checks in the process of validation of data

 Concrete outputs are the following:

  • The Reports from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament concerning Short-Term Statistics
  • Information to users by using Eurostat Website
  • Improved quality data
12.2. Quality management - assessment

The general quality of short-term statisitics (STS) is very good. Over recent years in particular the timeliness of STS has greatly improved. Details regarding the various quality criteria can be found in the reports from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament concerning Short-Term Statistics.


13. Relevance Top
13.1. Relevance - User Needs

STS provide statistical information necessary to monitor the competitiveness and performance of the business community in the EU. The STS are used by different users (European Commission and ECB, national governments and central banks, economic analysts in private companies and financial institutions) and serve different purposes.

  • Internal market - In order to carry out the tasks entrusted to it under the Treaties, especially with regard to the internal market, the Commission must have exhaustive, up to date, reliable and comparable information on the activity, competitiveness and performance of enterprises in the Community.
  • Commission policies - New economic, competition, social, environmental and enterprise policies and guidelines call for initiatives and decisions based on valid statistics. Business statistics are needed to provide harmonised, reliable and fast statistical information, to assist and inform policy decisions by both the Commission and individual enterprises.
  • GDP - Business statistics have an essential role to play since the same statistical surveys can be used in compiling the various components in national accounts, which are in turn needed in the calculation of GDP.
  • European monetary policy must be able to base itself on reliable European statistics which are comparable at all levels. The Maastricht Treaty already provided the European Central Bank the right and obligation to obtain the tools necessary to fulfil its mission: "In order to ensure the missions of the ESCB*, the ECB, assisted by the national central banks, shall collect the necessary statistical data, either from the competent national authorities, or directly from the economic agents".

* ESCB - European System of Central Banks

13.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

User satisfaction is measured via download statistics for publications, hits on the short-term business statistics website and with ad hoc user surveys. Special attention (e.g. as regards updates) is given to the most frequently visited pages.

Short-term statistics are also subject to rolling reviews which assess quality of the data and the data production process.

13.3. Completeness

Twice a year (every April and October), Eurostat assesses the reporting countries' compliance with the STS-Regulations. These assessments are, however, not published.


14. Accuracy Top
14.1. Accuracy - overall

The accuracyis tackled at national and Community levels, by eliminating as much as possible non-sampling errors, by calculating sampling errors and studying and analysing revisions. The available information at country level is summarized in the reports PEEIs in focus.

14.2. Sampling error

The available information at country level is summarized in the reports PEEIs in focus.

14.3. Non-sampling error

The available information at country level is summarized in the reports PEEIs in focus.


15. Timeliness and punctuality Top
15.1. Timeliness

Publication dates for European aggregates are published in the STS release calendar on the Eurostat website.

The countries must transmit their data to Eurostat by the following deadlines after the end of the reference period:

INDUSTRY

  • Production: 1 month and 10 calendar days
  • Turnover: 2 months
  • Producer prices (Output prices): 1 month and 5 calendar days
  • Import prices: 1 month and 15 calendar days
  • Labour input indicators: 2 months for Number of persons employed, 3 months for Hours worked, Gross wages and salaries

CONSTRUCTION

  • Production: 1 month and 15 calendar days
  • Building permits indicators: 3 months
  • Construction costs (Construction input prices): 3 months
  • Labour input indicators: 2 months for Number of persons employed, 3 months for Hours worked, Gross wages and salaries

WHOLESALE AND RETAIL TRADE

  • Volume of sales, turnover: 1 month for Food, Non-food and Total retail trade ( 2 months for the other activities)
  • Labour input indicators: 2 months for Number of persons employed, 3 months for Hours worked, Gross wages and salaries

SERVICES

  • Turnover: 2 months
  • Output Prices (Producer prices): 3 months
  • Labour input indicators: 2 months for Number of persons employed, 3 months for Hours worked, Gross wages and salaries

For small Member States, whose share in the respective Community total falls below 3%, the deadlines are 15 days longer.

15.2. Punctuality

All news releases are published according to the announced release calendars.


16. Comparability Top
16.1. Comparability - geographical

The STS Regulations and the STS methodological guidelines are applied by the countries transmitting STS data. This ensures a good comparability between national data and good-quality European aggregates. However, in order to best use their available data, the countries may apply different collection methods (surveys, use of administrative sources) and different calculation procedures for the data.

Detailed methodological information about Member States practices is available from the STS sources.

16.2. Comparability - over time

Not available


17. Coherence Top
17.1. Coherence - cross domain

Not available.

17.2. Coherence - internal

The short-term statistics regulation and related acts have introduced a set of common definitions for short-term statistics applied by all Member States. Eurostat and the national statistical offices work together in order to ensure the coherence of the short-term statistics indicators. The methodological framework established by the Regulation is continuously improved by consultations of technical experts and of special thematic task forces.

It should be noted that methodologies do not have to be identical across Member States. In keeping with the principle of subsidiarity and in order to take account of national differences, e.g. as regards size, economic structure and availability of administrative data, the short-term statistics Regulation leaves Member States free to decide on the most efficient and effective ways of collecting and processing data.


18. Cost and Burden Top

Information on cost and burden of short-term business statistics can be found in the reports from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament concerning Short-Term Statistics.


19. Data revision Top
19.1. Data revision - policy

In order to improve the accuracy of the EU indices, Eurostat changes the STS release and revision policy of European aggregates from the beginning of October 2012. The new policy is in line with the ESS guidelines on revision policy for PEEIs.

According to the new policy for routine revisions, national data continue to be revised when additional information from national statistical authorities (or from seasonal adjustment carried out by Eurostat) becomes available.

European aggregates of PEEIs are revised once per month for both monthly and quarterly time series. Previously all European aggregates were revised whenever new information became available.

European aggregates of STS labour indicators and construction costs or prices and industrial turnover are revised when new information becomes available.

If errors are detected in either national data or in European aggregates, they are corrected immediately and an error report is released.

Major revisions and changes in methodology are announced in the monthly News Releases and/or the Short-Term Business Statistics dedicated section.

19.2. Data revision - practice

Apart from revisions generated by Eurostat's seasonal adjustment of national data, the revisions of EU indices come directly from revisions in national series transmitted to Eurostat on different dates. Since countries have different revision policies it is common for EU indices to be revised.

A distinction can be made between revisions due to errors and those due to the incorporation of new information. For PEEIs, new information is integrated in the European aggregates on a regular basis (once per month).

Some information on data revision can be found in the reports from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament concerning Short-Term Statistics. Information on revisions is also available via Statistics Explained.


20. Statistical processing Top
20.1. Source data

The production of indices within Member States is normally based on the compilation of data from numerous sources. Detailed methodological information about Member States practices is available in the STS sources.

Statistical surveys

All national statistical authorities use statistical questionnaires for collecting STS data. However, their content and style vary greatly, partly because of cultural differences and partly because of the greater or lesser importance attached to respondents' burden and cost. These factors, as well as others, determine what information the national statistical authorities collect. In most of the national statistical authorities, the surveys are rarely restricted to one standard questionnaire or form but tend to be a combination of forms, differentiated by major characteristics, namely:

  • the activity, size, legal form and the type of variables asked on the form (output, prices, employment, other specialised variables);
  • occasionally, an extra characteristic, the geographical location of the unit, may influence the contents of a survey.

 

Administrative sources / registers / declarations

For the purposes of business statistics a limited set of administrative sources can be used. According to the purpose they serve, administrative registers can be subdivided into basic registers and specialised registers. Examples of indicators which use frequently administrative sources are turnover (VAT declarations), building permits indicators or number of persons employed.

Estimations

The STS regulations explicitly permit the use of statistical estimation procedures. For example, these may be used for item or unit non-response, grossing of sample results to the level of the frame population or to adjust results from surveys or administrative sources where the frame population does not match sufficiently the target population or the variables collected are not sufficiently close to those required. Hence, this need for estimation may arise because of non-response or because the statistical authority has chosen not to collect directly the information required.

Non-official sources

There is a great variety of non-official data, much of it available from consultancies or research institutes. Trade associations and chambers of commerce also produce non-official data about the business community. With only a few exceptions, private research institutions do not carry out regular surveys and tend to produce results from ad hoc surveys for clients.

20.2. Frequency of data collection

INDUSTRY

  • Production: Month
  • Turnover: Month
  • Output prices (Producer prices): Month
  • Import prices: Month
  • Labour input indicators: at least quarter (monthly data may be provided by some countries)

CONSTRUCTION

  • Production: Month for those Member States whose value added in Section F of NACE in a given base year represents at least 2% of the European Community total, Quarter for the others
  • Building permits indicators: at least quarter
  • Construction costs (Construction input prices): at least quarter
  • Labour input indicators: at least quarter

WHOLESALE AND RETAIL TRADE

  • Volume of sales (deflated turnover): Month
  • Turnover (in value): Month
  • Labour input indicators: Quarter

SERVICES

  • Turnover (value): Quarter
  • Producer prices (Output prices): Quarter

Labour input indicators: Quarter

20.3. Data collection

Detailed methodological information on Member States' data collection practices is available from the STS sources

20.4. Data validation

Data received from the countries - and the European indices compiled from these data - are validated using validation rules implemented in the data feeding software. Some validation rules are applied on ad hoc basis.

At national level, editing involves studying data from respondents with the aim of identifying (and eventually correcting) errors, in particular errors that have a significant influence on the results. Identified outliers require further investigation to determine where there really is an error as opposed to an unusual result. Editing involves checks for completeness, that values are within given ranges and that values for related variables are coherent. Data editing may take place during or after data entry.

Responses can be compared with those of the previous months. Inconsistency or large deviations (outside of a pre-established range) indicate that a closer look is desirable.

Eurostat carries out validation checks on the national aggregated indices received. This may result in contacting the reporting country. In the context of timeliness, the validation process may be designed to give top priority to those outliers that are most in need of verification for the sake of reliable European aggregates.

20.5. Data compilation

National level

The starting point for the processing stage is the information as collected from respondents. The aim is to bring these data to the level of the intended statistical output. For various reasons, the act of processing comprises more than just aggregating questionnaire items.

Processing steps can be summarised as follows.

  • After data entry, errors and inconsistencies are detected and corrected during editing.
  • Subsequently, item non-responses as well as gaps between questionnaire concepts and output concepts are dealt with by imputation.
  • The resulting set of clean and complete micro data serves as the basis for weighting and reweighting. During this stage, also frame errors may be accounted for.
  • The aggregated data may then be confronted with related data from other sources and possibly integrated.
  • Finally, where appropriate, statistical compilations and analysis are carried out, resulting in a non-public data set. Prior to dissemination, the one remaining stage is to identify and treat confidentiality.

European level

The European indices are calculated from national indices, taking into account the relative share of each Member State in the appropriate geographical aggregate, for the gross and calendar adjusted forms. This is done at each level of the activity classification. European aggregates of seasonally adjusted series are calculated from corresponding national series (geographically indirect seasonal adjustment).

However, the data received from each country may need a certain amount of pre-treatment before the European indices can be calculated. Three necessary stages can be identified as well as a fourth extra stage that is not directly needed for the calculation of European indices.

  • Any data supplied in absolute figures need to be compiled as indices.
  • Base years need to be harmonised.
  • Missing activity aggregates need to be calculated.
  • Any of the needed forms (for example seasonally adjusted) that are missing are produced.

The procedures for compiling the geographical aggregation starts with the gross and calendar adjusted series. The European aggregates start - with any number of countries - from the reference period for which 60% of the total weight is reached; as new series pile up, the total weight increases, to reach eventually 100% of the target aggregate. Thresholds also apply to the ending portion of the series. The impact of missing countries' data on aggregates is adjusted for by individually extrapolating missing countries' index levels of the previous period using the average monthly or quarterly development of the available countries.

The weighting system used by Eurostat plays a double role:

  • It allows carrying out geographical aggregation.
  • It allows making activity aggregation when national statistical authorities choose not to aggregate according to the activity or product classification.

The current weighting system uses 2010 data. The weights are sometimes confidential, especially at a detailed level. This can be because the weights are in general based on SBS data which itself may be confidential. The tables containing non-confidential weights can be found here.

20.6. Adjustment

According to the STS-R, the countries are required to transmit calendar adjusted figures for the following indicators:

  • Industrial production
  • Production in construction
  • Hours worked in industry, in construction and no later than from 31 March 2015 onwards in retail trade and services  
  • Retail trade turnover
  • Retail trade volume of sales (retail trade deflated turnover)
  • Turnover in services

Additionally, Member States are encouraged to transmit seasonally adjusted indices. If they do not, Eurostat calculates the seasonally adjusted indices using TRAMO/SEATS method and software for the individual Member States. At present, National Statistical Institutes in the European Union Member States use different methods of seasonal adjustment, all of them however belonging either to the Census-X11 (and its upgrades) or the TRAMO/SEATS families of methods.

Since data releases of March 2012 Eurostat performs an indirect method of seasonal adjustment which means that Eurostat aggregates seasonally adjusted national time series to obtain European aggregates (geographically indirect seasonal adjustment). This method guarantees the consistency of the European aggregates and the national data.

For more information on direct and indirect seasonal adjustment, refer to:

http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/statistics_explained/index.php/Short-term_business_statistics_-_seasonal_adjustment_methods

The Principal European Economic Indicators (PEEIs) represent a comprehensive set of infra-annual macro-economic statistics which are of particularly high importance for economic and monetary policy. Therefore, for the STS PEEIs, detailed information on the applied methods is provided. At Eurostat the calendar and seasonal adjustment is carried out at the following level of detail:

  • industrial production: European aggregates and Member States data for EL and LU: total, MIGs (intermediate goods, energy, capital goods, durable consumer goods, non-durable consumer goods);
  • production in construction: European aggregates and Member States data for DK, EE, EL, ES, IT (CC1, CC2), LU (F) and NL: total (F), building (CC1), civil engineering (CC2);
  • deflated turnover for retail trade: European aggregates and Member States data for EE, EL, IT, LU, NL and SK: total, food, drinks and tobacco, non-food products (except automotive fuel), automotive fuel in specialised stores, textile, clothing and footwear, electrical goods and furniture, computer equipment, books and other, pharmaceutical and medical goods, mail orders and internet (G4791);
  • building permits (number of dwellings & square metres): European aggregates and Member States data for AT, BE, BG, CY, CZ, DE, DK, EE, EL, ES, FI, FR, HU, IE, IT, LT, LU, LV, NL, PL, PT, RO, SI, SK and UK: total of new residential buildings (n° of dwellings), total of all buildings (square metres);
  • service turnover: European aggregates and Member States data for AT, BE, CZ, CY, DK, EE, EL, ES, FI, IE, IT, LU, NL, PL, PT, RO, SI, SK and UK: total, 2-digit level.

and as follows:

Calendar Adjustment

  • Industrial production, production in construction, building permits, deflated turnover for retail trade and service turnover: the adjustment is performed at country level.

Other pre-adjustment

  • Industrial production, production in construction, building permits, deflated turnover for retail trade and service turnover: calendar adjusted data from Member States is checked for additive outliers (AO), level shifts (LS) and transitory changes (TC). Significant outliers are included as regressors in the model, e.g. for industrial production outliers during October 2008 and January 2009 due to the economic and financial crisis are modelled as LS.

Seasonal Adjustment

  • European aggregates for industrial production, production in construction, building permits, deflated turnover for retail trade and service turnover: the geographically indirect method is used and the aggregates are checked for residual seasonality.
  • Member States data for industrial production, production in construction, building permits, deflated turnover for retail trade and service turnover: the direct adjustment method is used. This means all time-series are adjusted on an individual basis. DEMETRA Version 2.2 is used for model check and TRAMO/SEATS April 2005 for data production. The ARIMA models are automatically selected within a large number of models and checked for adequacy. To avoid mixed models and models with lags greater than 3, manual model selection is used. The critical value for outlier detection takes the number and the date of outliers into account, e.g. less than 5% of the data should be identified as outliers and the outliers should not cluster in one period. Particular attention on outlier detection is paid at the end of the series. The filter length is automatically chosen.

More specifically:

  • For industrial production 14 series have a multiplicative decomposition and 10 an additive decomposition. EL Intermediate Goods have a seasonal break in January 2000.
  • For production in construction 13 series have a multiplicative decomposition and 9 an additive decomposition. ES data have a seasonal break in January 2005.
  • For building permits always the multiplicative decomposition is chosen.
  • For deflated turnover for retail trade 37 series have a multiplicative decomposition and 12 an additive decomposition. IT data have a seasonal break in January 2005.
  • For service turnover 234 series have a multiplicative decomposition and 95 an additive decomposition.


21. Comment Top

Not applicable


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