Short-term business statistics - base year 2010
From Statistics Explained
As of 26 February 2013 short-term statistics indicators are published with the new base year 2010.
This article is part of a set of background articles treating various methodological aspects of short-term business statistics.
Reasons for base year change
The relative importance of the various economic activities in the different countries of the EU-28 and the euro area changes over time. These changes are reflected in the switch to the new base year 2010 in short-term statistics.
The switch to the new base consists of two steps: the rebasing, i.e. the update of the weights used for the calculation of indices from base year 2005 to 2010; and the re-referencing (or rescaling) of the indices to a new reference, from 2005=100 to 2010=100. Both steps can be done at the same time but they can also be done independently from each other. For the calculation of European aggregates in short-term statistics, Eurostat implemented the new weights on the 26th of February 2013. At the same time, all time series at both national and European level have been re-referenced (rescaled) to 2010=100.
Moreover, the weights used by national statistical institutes to calculate (fixed base year) aggregate indicators for their countries are also updated to 2010. It should be pointed out however that the Member States may choose a different timing for the rebasing and re-referencing (rescaling). For this reason it can happen that one and the same (national) time series is presented in Eurostat’s database with reference 2010=100 while on the website of the National Statistical Institute it is still presented with reference 2005=100. Both series are however equivalent: the growth rates are the same, and one series can easily be converted into the other.
Member States are likely to take the opportunity of this base year change to revise the methodology underlying the calculation of their STS data. These revisions as well as the changes in the weights will affect the time series at country and at European levels. The change of the weights reflects expanding and declining economic activities in national and European aggregates.
For different indicators different statistical variables are used as weights. Table 1 provides an overview.
The STS-regulation requires that the weights of the short-term statistics indicators are revised at least every five years. (Revisions have to be finalised at latest three years after the new base year.)
Detailed information on the 2010 weights of the Member States in the EU and euro area aggregates can be found here.
Effects of base year change
Table 2 compares 2010 and 2005 weights used for the production of the EU-27 aggregates for the four main STS indicators which are monthly published in news releases, i.e. production in industry, industrial producer prices, production in construction, and volume of retail trade.
As can be seen in industry (production and also producer prices) the weight of industries operating in the field of energy increased. For retail trade mail order and internet sales have become more important but also pharmaceutical and medical goods and textiles, clothing and footwear.
The weights of the individual countries in the EU aggregates also changed. Table 3 provides an overview.
Table 4 summarises the impact that the new weight structure has on the EU 27 indices for production in industry, industrial producer prices, production in construction, and on the volume of retail sales.
The countries with the highest positive and negative impact on the European aggregate are listed. The values for the impact are calculated as the difference between new and old weights multiplied with the country index for November 2012.