Services turnover index overview
From Statistics Explained
- Data from January 2013, most recent data: Further Eurostat information, main tables and database.
This article provides an overview of the development of the services turnover indicator in the European Union (EU), the euro area and the European Member states over recent years and describes how it is calculated. The index of turnover in (other) services is a business cycle indicator which measures the quarterly development of turnover in the European service industries with the exception of services in retail and wholesale trade for which a separate indicator exists (hence "other" services; in this article the "other" will be omitted for easier readability).
The data presented in this article are taken from European short-term statistics (STS). The data on services collected under the short-term statistics regulation encompass mainly – but not only (see below) – services consumed by businesses, therefore they are often referred to as "business services".
Main statistical findings
Between 2000 and 2008 the turnover of European service industries (as covered by the STS regulation) expanded on a relatively steady growth path. A rapid decline set in after the second quarter of 2008 (in the euro area already one quarter earlier) and within a year turnover in the EU-27 declined by 12 %. In the third quarter of 2009 a steady recovery set in and the latest data (third quarter 2011) indicate that the pre-crisis level has already been regained for the EU-27 (Figure 1). Since around mid-2011, the level of service turnover has remained almost unchanged.
Short-term statistics cover – with some exceptions – the following five groups according to NACE Rev. 2 (NACE code in brackets): transportation and storage (H), accommodation and food services (I), information and communication services (J), professional, scientific and technical activities (M) and administrative and support services (N). The development of the turnover for these main service activities is represented in Figure 2. Transport and storage, professional, scientific and technical as well as administrative and support services show a rather similar development. They are also the biggest of the five service industries in terms of value added and therefore largely influence the development of turnover for total services. Accommodation and food services and likewise information and communication services show a steadier turnover development.
Table 1 provides a breakdown of the development (growth rates) of the service turnover in the Member States of the EU and also for Croatia and Turkey. In 2009 all EU Member States experienced a decline in services, in many countries the negative rates of change even reached double-digit level (in the Baltic countries negative rates even surpassed -20 %). In Estonia, Ireland, Spain, and Latvia service turnover already began to decline in 2008.
Table 1 also indicates very different dynamics in the turnover development between Member States. On average the service turnover increased by around 55 % between 2000 and 2011. In Malta, the country with the lowest growth, it increased by only 11 % over eleven years, i.e. 0.9 % per year on average. Other examples of countries with a relatively low turnover growth were Germany, Greece and Spain (all with an average 2.3 % between 2000 and 2011). In Romania, the country with the fastest growth, the turnover index increased by more than 570 % over eleven years or 18.9 % on average. Other countries which experienced a rapid growth were Luxembourg (average 13.0 %), Latvia (average 12.4 %), and Bulgaria (average 10.6 %).
In most countries the indicator of service turnover peaked at the third quarter of 2008 and reached a low about one year later. Afterwards service turnover in most countries recovered again relatively steadily. Most countries have already reached or even surpassed their pre-crisis levels. Special developments can be observed in Greece were the level of turnover has steadily declined since 2008 and in Poland where the crisis only caused a rather shallow dip in the development of service turnover.
Data sources, aggregation and availability
The definition of turnover is rather straightforward. It comprises basically what is invoiced by the seller. Rebates and price deductions are taken into account as well as special charges that the customer might have to pay. Turnover does not include VAT or similar deductible taxes.
Information on service turnover is most often collected by business surveys. However, quite a number of National Statistical Institutes rely on administrative sources, i.e. VAT declarations, to obtain the data. There are also cases where both methods are used; for example bigger enterprises might be asked to contribute to a survey whereas the data for smaller enterprises area collected from VAT registers.
According to the short-term statistics regulation data on service turnover have to be made available by the National Statistical Institutes at least on a quarterly basis. However, around half of the Member States collect these data (at least for some services) on a monthly basis. Not in all cases can these dates be published by Eurostat (e.g. for reasons of confidentiality). Countries for which aggregated monthly service turnover data are published are Spain, France, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Finland and the United Kingdom. European aggregates are calculated by summing up weighted national indices for individual service activities. The weights correspond to the share of the countries in the turnover of service activities in the base year.
All results for the indicator of turnover in services are published on the Eurostat website.
The turnover index for services is one of the Principal European economic indicators. It is one of the relatively few available indicators for services and is used to analyse business cycle trends in the service industry and as input for national accounts statistics.
Further Eurostat information
- Business services: Recent economic developments - Statistics in focus 35/2011
- Trade and services (sts_ts)
- Other services (sts_os)
- Turnover index (NACE Rev.2) (sts_os_t)
- Other services (sts_os)
Methodology / Metadata
- Methodology of short-term business statistics – interpretation and guidelines
- Methodology of short-term business statistics – associated documents
- STS Metadata in SDMX format
- More information on metadata in Eurostat