Welcome To Statistics Explained

Statistics Explained, your guide to European statistics. Statistics Explained is an official Eurostat website presenting statistical topics in an easily understandable way. Together, the articles make up an encyclopedia of European statistics for everyone, completed by a statistical glossary clarifying all terms used and by numerous links to further information and the latest data and metadata, a portal for occasional and regular users.

To find the information you need, please select a theme from the menu below or use the coloured boxes on the right. The search function (alt-f) can also be used.

New / updated articles

This article reports on three forms of unemployment in the European Union (EU) which are not covered by the ILO definition of unemployment. They are: underemployed part-time workers, jobless persons seeking a job but not immediately available for work and jobless persons available for work but not seeking it. These three groups do not meet all criteria of the ILO unemployment definition i.e. being without work, actively seeking work, and being available for work. More ...
This article is part of an online publication and provides information on a range of business statistics for the enlargement countries (except Iceland), in other words the candidate countries and potential candidates. Montenegro, Iceland [1], the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Serbia and Turkey currently have candidate status, while Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo [2] are potential candidates.

The article provides statistics for several business cycle indicators, including: the industrial production index, the industrial domestic output price index, construction production and costs indices, and the volume of sales index for retail trade. It also provides tourism data relating to the number of bed places in hotels and similar accommodation.

Main statistical findings

Table 1: Working-day adjusted indices of production, industry (NACE Rev. 2), 2003–13
(2010 = 100) - Source: Eurostat (sts_inpr_a) and (cpc_insts)
Table 2: Gross domestic output price indices, industry (NACE Rev. 2), 2003–13
(2010 = 100) - Source: Eurostat (sts_inppd_a) and (cpc_insts)
Table 3: Production and cost indices, construction (NACE Rev. 2), 2003–13
(2010 = 100) - Source: Eurostat (sts_copr_a), (sts_copi_a) and (cpc_insts)
Table 4: Working-day adjusted volume of sales, retail trade (NACE Rev. 2), 2003–13
(2010 = 100) - Source: Eurostat (sts_trtu_a) and (cpc_insts)
Table 5: Number of bed-places in hotels and similar accommodation, 2003–13
(thousands) - Source: Eurostat (tour_cap_nat) and (cpc_intour)

Industrial production index

At the onset of the global financial and economic crisis, there was a sharp contraction in industrial activity in the EU-28. In 2009, the EU-28’s industrial production index fell by 14 %, while a partial rebound in 2010 (up 6.8 %) was followed by a period of relative stability in the following three years, with little change in the volume index of production in the EU-28’s industrial economy (see Table 1).

By far the largest contraction in industrial activity in 2009 among the enlargement countries was recorded in Montenegro, where the production index fell by almost one third; this was the only enlargement country to record a downturn in activity that was of greater magnitude than that experienced in the EU-28. There were, however, considerable reductions in industrial activity in 2009 in all but one of the remaining enlargement countries, ranging from -12.6 % in Serbia to -6.5 % in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

It is possible to evaluate the effects of the crisis by comparing pre-crisis levels of output in 2008 with the most recent data available for industrial production indices in 2013. Montenegro was the enlargement country most affected by the crisis over this period, as its industrial production index was 26.5 % lower in 2013 than it had been in 2008. Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia also reported that their levels of industrial output had failed to recover to pre-crisis levels, with industrial production indices remaining almost 7 % lower in 2013 than they had been in 2008.

In 2013, industrial output was higher than its pre-crisis levels in Albania and Turkey, as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina

Industrial output in Bosnia and Herzegovina was at a broadly similar level in 2013 to that recorded in 2008, as output rebounded in 2010 and 2011 before another fall and rebound in 2012 and 2013. By contrast, the effects of the crisis were more apparent in Turkey, as industrial output fell by almost 10 % in 2009. However, there was an immediate rebound in 2010 when growth of 12.9 % was recorded. Thereafter, double-digit growth continued in 2011, before more modest growth rates were recorded for 2012 and 2013. By 2013, the industrial production index in Turkey was 18.3 % higher than it had been in 2008. Albania was an exception to this general pattern of declining output in 2009, as its industrial production index appeared to be relatively immune to the crisis, with output rising at a relatively fast pace in each and every year over the period 2005–13. Indeed, industrial output in Albania was almost three times as high in 2013 as it had been in 2005.

Domestic output price indices

The development of domestic output price indices — also known as the producer price index (PPI) — for industry reflects price changes in goods that are sold by manufacturers; they provide an early indicator of inflation. One of the key drivers in the development of output price indices is global demand for energy resources, in particular, crude oil. Indeed, in recent years the price of oil has fluctuated far more than the price of many other goods and this has a direct impact on costs faced by manufacturers in a range of industries, with oil price fluctuations often being passed down the production line between interlinked industries.

There was a peak in the price of crude oil in 2008, which coincided with the highest year-on-year increase in EU-28 output prices over the period 2003–13. In a similar vein, a fall in global demand following the onset of the financial and economic crisis, coupled with falling oil prices, led to EU-28 output prices falling by 4.1 % in 2009. During the last couple of years, the EU’s industrial economy has stagnated and there was little or no change in industrial output price levels during 2012 and 2013 (see Table 2).

Domestic output prices rose rapidly in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey

Among the enlargement countries (no data available for Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina), domestic industrial output price developments in Montenegro and Kosovo resembled those in the EU-28. By contrast, prices rose at a much faster pace in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey. In the latter two, prices continued to rise during the financial and economic crisis, with overall price increases of 48.2 % and 35.0 % between 2008 and 2013.

Construction production and cost indices

The effects of the financial and economic crisis on construction were, if anything, even greater than on the industrial economy. Indeed, the production index for construction in the EU-28 fell each and every year during the period 2008–13. From its pre-crisis high in 2007 through to 2013, the EU-28 index of production for construction fell overall by more than one fifth (21.1 %).

Some of the enlargement countries had a similar development, with considerably lower levels of construction output in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania when comparing the most recent data available with that recorded prior to the crisis in 2008 or 2009 (see Table 3). The level of construction output in Serbia was also lower than it had been in 2008 or 2009, although this was largely due to a particularly large fall in activity in 2013, when the index of production fell by 20.4 % (compared with the year before).

Despite a contraction in construction activity in 2009, the index of production for construction in Turkey grew in successive years during the period 2010–13 and more than recovered its losses experienced at the height of the crisis. However, the most rapid expansions in construction output were registered in Montenegro and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, where year-on-year increases were also recorded throughout the period 2010–13; the pace of expansion in construction output was particularly high in 2013.

There were generally modest increases in the construction cost index for residential buildings in the EU-28 and the enlargement countries over the period 2008–13. There were two main exceptions to this rule: the gross index of costs for residential buildings fell in Montenegro; costs rose at a somewhat higher than average pace in Turkey.

Volume of sales index for retail trade

The volume of sales index is a measure of turnover in the retail trade sector, adjusted to remove price changes (inflation). Table 4 provides data for this indicator over the period 2003–13 and shows that after modest growth during the period 2003–06, the volume of sales index stagnated in the EU-28. Indeed, there was a slight reduction in sales for the EU-28’s retail trade sector in each of the last three years for which data are available (2011–13).

Volume of sales index grew rapidly in Montenegro

Among the enlargement countries, data are generally available for the period 2005–13 or 2006–13, during which time there were generally much greater fluctuations in the volume of sales index (than developments seen in the EU-28). At the end of this period, in 2013, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia were characterised by their relatively low volume of sales index compared with their levels in 2010 (5.6 % and 25.2 % lower respectively). By contrast, the volume of sales indices in the remaining enlargement countries for which data are available showed uninterrupted growth between 2010 and 2013. This recent growth was particularly strong in Montenegro, where the volume of sales index for retail trade grew by 9.5 % in 2013 (compared with a year before), while the latest annual growth rates for Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Albania were within the range of 4 %–6 %.

Number of bed places in hotels and similar accommodation

In 2013, there were an estimated 13.2 million bed places available in EU-28 hotels and similar establishments. Contrary to many of the other indicators used in this article, the financial and economic crisis appeared to have little influence on this infrastructure indicator, as the number of bed places grew in each and every year over the period 2003–13. Note that the figures shown do not reflect occupancy rates and instead refer to the supply of available bed places.

More than 80 % of the bed places available in enlargement countries were located in Turkey

A complete time series for 2003–13 is available for six of the seven enlargement countries (no data for Kosovo), as shown in Table 5. In 2013, the combined number of bed places available in these six countries was almost 900 000; this was equivalent to 6.8 % of the number of bed places in the EU-28.

Turkey reported by far the highest number of bed places among the enlargement countries, almost three quarters of a million in 2013, or more than four fifths of the total across the enlargement countries. Turkey also recorded the largest increase in its bed capacity: during the period 2003–13, the number of bed places in Turkish hotels and similar establishments rose by almost 330 000, an overall increase of almost 80 %. The number of bed places also rose at a relatively rapid pace in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Data sources and availability

Data for the enlargement countries are collected for a wide range of indicators each year through a questionnaire that is sent by Eurostat to partner countries which have either the status of being candidate countries or potential candidates. A network of contacts in each country has been established for updating these questionnaires, generally within the national statistical offices, but potentially including representatives of other data-producing organisations (for example, central banks or government ministries). The statistics shown in this article are made available free-of-charge on Eurostat’s website, together with a wide range of other socio-economic indicators collected as part of this initiative.

Traditionally, short-term business statistics (STS) were concentrated on industrial and construction activities, and to a lesser extent retail trade. Since the middle of the 1990s, major developments in official statistics within the EU have seen short-term data collection efforts focus increasingly on services. These data are provided in the form of indices that allow the most rapid assessment of the economic climate within industry, construction and services, providing a first evaluation of recent developments for a range of activities. STS show developments over time, and so may be used to calculate rates of change, typically showing comparisons with the month or quarter before, or the same period of the previous year: the data presented here are annual series derived from monthly or quarterly series.

Within the EU, STS are compiled within the scope of Regulation 1165/98 of 19 May 1998 concerning short-term statistics. The STS Regulation has been amended and adjusted to meet emerging users’ needs — generally in relation to monetary union and more specifically to the requirements of the European Central Bank (ECB). Retail trade indices have particular importance because of the role of retail trade as an interface between producers and final customers, allowing retail sales turnover and volume of sales indices to be used as short-term indicators for final domestic demand by households.

Tourism, in a statistical context, refers to the activity of visitors taking a trip to a destination outside their usual environment, for less than a year. It can be for any main purpose, including business, leisure or other personal reasons. In July 2011, the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union adopted Regulation 692/2011 concerning European statistics on tourism. Tourism statistics in the EU consist of two main components: on the one hand, statistics relating to capacity and occupancy in collective tourist accommodation; on the other, statistics relating to tourism demand. Statistics on the capacity of collective tourist accommodation include the number of establishments, the number of bedrooms and the number of bed places.


The profile and use of STS has expanded, as information flows have become global and the latest news release for an indicator may have significant effects on financial markets, or decisions that are taken by central banks and business leaders. STS are a key resource for those who follow developments in the business cycle, or for those who wish to trace recent developments within a particular industrial, construction or service activity. Some of the most important STS indicators are included within the principal European economic indicators (PEEIs) that are essential to the ECB for conducting monetary policy within the euro area. Three PEEIs concern industrial short-term business statistics (the production index, output prices of the domestic market and import prices), a further two PEEIs concern construction short-term business statistics (the production index and building permits), while three more concern services short-term business statistics (the volume of sales in retail trade, turnover in other services and output prices of other services).

The EU is a major tourist destination, with five of its Member States among the world’s top 10 destinations for holidaymakers, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO). Tourism has the potential to contribute towards employment and economic growth, as well as to development in rural, peripheral or less-developed areas. These characteristics drive the demand for reliable and harmonised statistics within this field, as well as within the wider context of regional policy and sustainable development policy areas.

While basic principles and institutional frameworks for producing statistics are already in place, the enlargement countries are expected to increase progressively the volume and quality of their data and to transmit these data to Eurostat in the context of the EU accession process. The EU standards in the field of statistics require the existence of a statistical infrastructure based on principles such as professional independence, impartiality, relevance, confidentiality of individual data and easy access to official statistics; they cover methodology, classifications and standards for production.

Eurostat has the responsibility to ensure that statistical production of the enlargement countries complies with the EU acquis in the field of statistics. To do so, Eurostat supports the national statistical offices and other producers of official statistics through a range of initiatives, such as pilot surveys, training courses, traineeships, study visits, workshops and seminars, and participation in meetings within the European statistical system (ESS). The ultimate goal is the provision of harmonised, high-quality data that conforms to European and international standards.

Additional information on statistical cooperation with the enlargement countries is provided here.

See also

Further Eurostat information




Industry, trade and services (cpc_in)
Candidate countries and potential candidates: short-term business statistics (cpc_insts)
Candidate countries and potential candidates: tourism (cpc_intour)
Industry (sts_ind)
Production in industry (sts_ind_prod)
Producer prices in industry (sts_ind_pric)
Construction, building and civil engineering (sts_cons)
Production in construction (sts_cons_pro)
Construction cost (or producer prices), new residential buildings (sts_cons_pri)
Trade and services (sts_ts)
Wholesale and retail trade (NACE G) (sts_wrt)
Annual data on tourism industries (tour_inda)
Capacity of tourist accommodation establishments (tour_cap)

Dedicated section

Methodology / Metadata

Source data for tables and figures (MS Excel)

External links


  1. Accession negotiations started in July 2010 and were put on hold by the Icelandic government in May 2013. Iceland is therefore not included in this article.
  2. This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.
More ...
International trade — especially the size and evolution of imports and exports — is an important indicator of a country’s economic performance, showing its status on the international stage. This article takes a closer look at recent trends in imports and exports of several of the world’s big economies, focusing on key trade statistics for goods and giving an insight into EU trading patterns compared to the world’s major economies. The article only deals with extra-EU trade, and does not consider trade between EU Member States (intra-EU trade). More ...
This article is part of a set of statistical articles based on the Eurostat flagship publication 'Being young in Europe today' (which can be consulted in order to get a layouted pdf version). The right to education for children and young people contribute to their overall development and consequently lays the foundations for later success in life in terms of employability, social integration, health and wellbeing. Education and training play a crucial role in counteracting the negative effects of social disadvantage. The European Union (EU) therefore wants all children and young people to be able to access and benefit from high-quality education, care and training. More ...
This article is part of an online publication and provides data on economic statistics for the 10 countries that form the European Neighbourhood Policy-South (ENP-South) region, namely, Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria and Tunisia. Recent developments for education statistics in these countries and in the European Union (EU) are presented. The article shows, among others, statistics on compulsory school years, literacy rates, public expenditure on education, youth educational attainment and statistics on tertiary education. More ...
In recent years Eurostat has significantly expanded the range of integrated quarterly data on government finances available, providing a timely and increasingly high quality picture of the evolution of government finances in the European Union (EU). The data presented in this article reflect both non-financial and financial (quarterly non-financial and financial accounts for general government) transactions and cover all European Union (EU-28) countries as well as Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. This article is based on data transmitted to Eurostat at the end of March 2015 and during April 2015 and includes data coverage of the fourth quarter of 2014. It is the third ESA 2010 data published for quarterly government finance statistics. More ...

Did you know that....

In 2012, 41 % of the EU-28 population lived in flats, just over one third (34 %) in detached houses and 24 % in semi-detached houses. The share of persons living in flats was highest among the EU Member States in Estonia (65 %), Spain (65 %) and Latvia (64 %). Read more...

Focus on

Balance of payment statistics
Current account transactions, EU-28, 2003–13 (1) (EUR 1 000 million) YB14.png

The balance of payments records all economic transactions between resident and non-resident entities during a given period. This article presents data on the current and financial accounts of the balance of payments for the European Union (EU) and its Member States.

The current account balance determines the exposure of an economy to the rest of the world, whereas the capital and financial account explains how it is financed. An article on foreign direct investment provides more information on one component of the financial account, while an article on international trade in services focuses on one component of the current account.

Main statistical findings

Current account

The current account surplus of the EU-28 was EUR 155 700 million in 2013 (see Figure 1), corresponding to 1.2 % of gross domestic product (GDP). This can be contrasted with data for 2012, when the current account surplus was EUR 68 600 million. The latest developments for the EU-28’s current account showed a continuation of the pattern established in 2009: the current account deficit peaked in 2008 at 2.2 % of GDP; progressively smaller deficits were recorded between 2009 and 2011, turning to a surplus equivalent to 0.5 % of GDP in 2012. The current account surplus for 2013 comprised a deficit for current transfers (-0.6 % of GDP) with surpluses in the current accounts for goods (0.2 % of GDP), services (1.3 %) and the income account (0.3 %) — see Table 2.

More ...

Notice: Uncommitted DB writes (transaction from DatabaseBase::query (LCStore_DB::get)). in /ec/prod/app/webroot/estat_home/statistics_explained/includes/db/Database.php on line 3945