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PRODCOM survey on production of manufactured goods

From Statistics Explained

Data from July 2011. Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Database and Data in MS Excel format.

This article gives a brief overview of PRODCOM, the European Union (EU) survey providing statistics on the production of manufactured goods. It is based on a list of products; for each product in the list, the statistics show the amount produced in each year, for individual countries and for the EU as a whole. The list aims to include all manufactured products. But to keep it manageable, similar products are grouped into single items. The list is updated every year – it currently contains just under 4000 items.

Table 1: High-value products in 2010

Statistical results

Table 2: Selected products by volume with various units in 2010

For most products, the statistics show the amount produced by value in euro and by volume (in kg, litres etc., depending on the product). The statistics can be looked at in many different ways:

  • to compare manufacturing in different countries;
  • to measure the growth or decline in different manufacturing sectors;
  • to look at the production levels for individual products.

Product coverage

It is important for production statistics to identify all the producers of each product so that they can be surveyed. Statistical checks are made to ensure that full coverage of each product is achieved.

Territorial coverage

The data are obtained by the statistical office of each Member State by conducting surveys of manufacturers – usually by means of a paper or electronic questionnaire. The enterprises must match each of the products they actually produce to one of the products on the list. The statistical offices then sum up the production of all manufacturers of each product and send a national total to Eurostat.

Data availability

The earliest data published are for 1995, for EU-15 Member States. As new countries have joined the EU, the data published by Eurostat has been extended to include the new Members. The survey is conducted during the first 6 months of each year in order to get the production levels for the previous year. Member States are required to send this data to Eurostat by 30 June. Eurostat normally publishes it for the first time in mid-July.
However, countries may send revised figures at a later date and then the statistics published by Eurostat are refreshed.

Data completeness

Sometimes the data for some products cannot be reported, for instance if an enterprise cannot report the volume in the required measurement unit. In these cases, either the national statistical office or Eurostat makes estimates so that complete EU totals can be published.

In some cases the national statistical authority requests that the data for a particular product be kept confidential. This can happen, for instance, if there is only one producer in the country so that the published data refers directly to that producer. Eurostat is legally bound to respect such confidentiality, but may use the confidential amount in EU totals, as long as it is not revealed by doing so. If this is not possible, the EU total is rounded so that an approximate figure can be given without revealing the confidential data. The rounding base is also shown in order to indicate the range of possible true values of the total.

Context

The evolution of PRODCOM dates back to 1985 when there were the first meetings of the working party on "Production Statistics", whose objective was to harmonise the various ways industrial production statistics were collected in the Member States.

Although statistics on production were collected in most countries, these covered the national situation, national nomenclatures were used and different survey methods were applied.

The purpose of the PRODCOM regulation is to enable these national statistics to be compared and where possible aggregated to give a picture of the developments of an industry or product in the European context. This aim became more urgent with the creation of the single market in 1992 and, with rapid changes occurring in Europe, the statistical system had to adapt to these changes.

Before data collection could begin, it was necessary to draw up a common list of products to be covered. Drawing up the PRODCOM list was a unique opportunity for Eurostat, the NSIs and the European trade associations (FEBIs) to work together to produce a classification that would work on the micro, national and European level. The two principal aims were to measure production and to enable the calculation of apparent consumption by linking production statistics to international trade statistics.

In most cases, the statistics show the amount produced and sold of each product. However, for some products the total production is given: this includes not only what is sold, but also what is retained by the producer for use in the production of another product.

Production statistics are used by the European Commission and national administrations for policy-making, and by enterprises. An increasing use of the data is in climate change and other environmental statistics.

The production statistics in PRODCOM relate to two other statistical areas:

  • Structural business statistics give details of enterprises and their activities, so there is a link between enterprise statistics such as turnover and the sum of production measured in PRODCOM. However, the correlation between the goods produced by an enterprise and the sector in which they are registered is not always very strict, so this can affect comparisons of this kind. In addition, producers engage in other activities besides production (installation, repair and maintenance, finishing etc.) that contribute to turnover but not to the value of production.
  • Production statistics are an important measure of sales and consumption of goods. But in order to give an accurate picture, they must be linked to import and export figures. For this reason, the production statistics published by Eurostat are accompanied by the related trade data. However trade data is collected independently using a different nomenclature (the Combined Nomenclature), so there can be discrepancies between the two sets of figures.

Further Eurostat information

Database

Data
Database
Statistics on the production of manufactured goods (prom)
NACE Rev. 1.1 (prodcom_n1)
Prodcom Annual Sold (NACE Rev. 1.1) (DS043408)
Prodcom Annual Total (NACE Rev. 1.1) (DS043409)
Prodcom Monthly Steel (NACE Rev. 1.1) (DS008573)
NACE Rev. 2 (prodcom_n2)
Prodcom Annual Sold (NACE Rev. 2.) (DS056120)
Prodcom Annual Total (NACE Rev. 2.) (DS056121)
Traditional external trade database access (ComExt) (comext)

Dedicated section

Data in MS Excel format

Data
Excel files (NACE Rev. 2)
Excel files (NACE Rev. 1.1)

Methodology / Metadata

Other information

See also

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