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. Accessibility and clarity
11. Quality management
12. Relevance
13. Accuracy
14. Timeliness and punctuality
15. Coherence and comparability
16. Cost and Burden
17. Data revision
18. Statistical processing
19. 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: Business cycle; Short-term statistics

1.5. Contact mail address

2920 Luxembourg LUXEMBOURG


2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 17/01/2022
2.2. Metadata last posted 17/01/2022
2.3. Metadata last update 17/01/2022


3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

Short-term business statistics (STS) give information on a wide range of economic activities. All STS data are index data. Percentage changes are also available for each indicator: Infra-annual percentage changes - changes between two consecutive months or quarters - are calculated on the basis of non-adjusted data (prices) or calendar and seasonally adjusted data (volume and value indicators) and year-on-year changes - comparing a period to the same period one year ago - are calculated on the basis of non-adjusted data (prices and employment) or calendar adjusted data (volume and value indicators).

The index data are generally presented in the following forms:

  • Unadjusted
  • Calendar adjusted
  • Calendar and seasonally adjusted

Depending on the EBS Regulation data are accessible as monthlyquarterly and annual data. The STS indicators are listed below in four different sectors, reflecting the dissemination of these data in Eurostat’s online database “Eurobase”.

Based on the national data, Eurostat compiles short-term indicators for the EU and euro area. 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. The PEEIs contributed by STS are marked with * in the text below.

The euro indicators are released through Eurostat's website.

 

 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 employees and self-employed persons, Hours worked by employees, Gross wages and salaries

CONSTRUCTION

  • Production (volume)*
  • Building permits indicators*: Number of dwellings, Square meters of useful floor
  • Producer (output) prices in construction (if not available, they can be approximated by the Construction costsvariable)
  • Labour input indicators: Number of employees and self-employed persons, Hours worked by employees, Gross wages and salaries

TRADE

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

SERVICES

  • Production (volume)
  • Turnover (in value)*
  • Labour input indicators: Number of employees and self-employed persons, Hours worked by employees, Gross wages and salaries
  • Producer prices (Output prices)*

BUSINESS POPULATION

  • Registrations:
  • Bankruptcies:

National reference metadata of the reporting countries are available in the Annexes to this metadata file.

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 pricesConstruction prices and Building permits indicators; for this indicators,  the information is available according to the CPA classification (Statistical Classification of Products by Activity in the European Economic Community). 

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 breakdowns for prices and building permits are based on CPA codes.

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, L, M and N of NACE (H-Transportation and Storage, I-Accommodation and food service activities, J-Information and communication, L-Real estate activities, M-Professional, scientific and technical activities [excluding activities of head offices, scientific research and development and veterinary activities], N-Administrative and support service activities).

BUSINESS POPULATION
Market units in industry, construction and services (except public administration, defence, compulsory social security, activities of membership organisations, activities of households as employers and extra-territorial organisations and bodies).

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

Detailed definitions of each indicator can be found in the  Commission Implementing Regulation 2020/1197 (Annex IV).

PRODUCTION
The objective of the production index is to measure changes in the volume of output at monthly intervals. It provides a measure of the volume trend in value added over a given reference period. The production index is calculated in the form of a Laspeyres type index.
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 NACE Rev.2 classification.

NET TURNOVER
The objective of the net turnover index is to show the development of the market for goods and services.
Net 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. Net turnover also includes all other charges (transport, packaging, etc.) passed on to the customer, even if these charges are listed separately in the invoice.
Net turnover excludes VAT and other similar deductible taxes directly linked to net turnover as well as all duties and taxes on the goods or services invoiced by the unit.
The indices of domestic and non-domestic net 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 net 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 by deflating turnover at current prices with an appropriate deflator of sales.

PRODUCER PRICES (OUTPUT PRICES)
The producer prices are also known as output prices. The definition in this paragraph reflects the terminology used in the Commission Implementing Regulation 2020/1197.
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 dispatched 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 EMPLOYEES AND SELF-EMPLOYED PERSONS
The objective of the index of number of persons employed is to show the development of employment.
The number of employees and self-employed persons is the sum of the number of employees and number of self- employed persons. The number of employees represents the average number of persons who were, at some time during the reference period, employees of the statistical unit. The number of self-employed persons is the average number of persons who were at some time during the reference period the sole owners or joint owners of the statistical unit in which they work. Family workers and outworkers whose income is a function of the value of the outputs of the statistical unit are also included.

HOURS WORKED BY EMPLOYEES
The objective of the hours worked index is to show the development in the volume of work done. Total hours worked by employees represents the number of hours actually worked by employees, for the output of the statistical 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 contains all expenses incurred during the reference period on the total gross remuneration, in cash or in kind, of all employees of the statistical unit.

The total gross remuneration, in cash or in kind, contains as examples, but is not limited to the following items: direct remuneration, bonuses, allowances, gratuities, tips, commissions, payments to employees’ saving schemes, payments for days not worked, wages and salaries in kind, company products, staff housing, company cars, stock options and purchase schemes, amounts to be withheld by the employer (social security contributions of the employee, personal income tax, etc.). Infra-annual statistics may not be able to take into account all these items.

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. Construction costs may be used if the reporting country is not compiling producer prices of new residential buildings. The construction cost index (material and labour costs are not required as separate indices since 2021) shows the price developments of production factors used in the construction industry.

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 residential units, while the objective of the useful floor area building permit index to show the future development of construction activity in terms of square metres.
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.

REGISTRATIONS: The number of legal units entered in the registration register at any time during the reference quarter, according to the respective administrative or legal procedure. Registrations is an early indicator to measure business intentions. In every country, administrative rules of registrations differ, so the quarterly data are presented as an index series to improve comparability.

BANKRUPTCIES: The number of legal units that have started the procedure of being declared bankrupt, by issuing a court declaration, at any time during the reference quarter (this declaration may be provisional and does not always mean cessation of an activity).

3.5. Statistical unit

The EBS Regulation requires the use of the following observation units:

  • Kind of activity unit (KAU) for the indicators in industry and construction (in  trade and services from January/Q1 2024)
  • Enterprise may be used for the indicators in trade and services for the reference periods January/Q1 2021 to December/Q4 2023 (transition period)
  • Legal unit for business registration and bankruptcy index.
3.6. Statistical population

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

 INDUSTRY

  • Production: sections B, C, D of NACE (D353 and E excluded), MIGs (MIG Energy excluding Section E)
  • Turnover: sections B and C of NACE, MIGs (MIG Energy excluding Sections D and E)
  • Producer prices: B, C, D and E36, MIGs and Section-level of NACE [NACE B0721, C2446, C254, C301, C303, C304, E37, E38 and E39 not included]
  • Import prices: Sections B, C, D, MIGs and Section-level of CPA [CPA B0721, B09, C18, C2446, C254, C301, C303, C304, C33, E36, E37, E38 and E39 not included].
  • Labour input indicators (Number of employees and self-employed persons, Hours worked by employees, Gross wages and salaries): Sections B to E36 of NACE (E37, E38 and E39 not included), MIGs and Section-level of NACE, Division E36

CONSTRUCTION

  • Production: section F of NACE broken down to building construction and civil engineering according to NACE codes at 2-digit level (respectively F41+F43 and F42) until 2024. Later, data by NACE Division (2-digit) will be available from reference year 2021 onwards
  • Building permits indicators:
    - Number of dwellings: CPA codes (new residential buildings only)
    - Square metres of useful floor: CPA codes (new residential and non-residential buildings only)
  • Construction producer prices (Construction costs): CPA codes (new buildings only)
  • Labour input indicators (Number of employees and self-employed persons, Hours worked by employees, Gross wages and salaries): section F

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 employees and self-employed persons, Hours worked by employees, Gross wages and salaries): section G of NACE (G45, G46, G47)

SERVICES

  • Production (volume): aggregate and sections H, I, J, L, M (excluding M701, M72, M75), N of NACE
  • Turnover (value):  aggregate and sections H, I, J, L, M (excluding M701, M72, M75), N of NACE
  • Labour input indicators (Number of employees and self-employed persons, Hours worked by employees, Gross wages and salaries): aggregate and sections H, I, J, L, M (excluding M701, M72, M75), N  of NACE
  • Producer prices (Output prices): aggregate and sections H, I, J, L, M (excluding M701, M72, M75), N of NACE

BUSINESS POPULATION 

  • New registrations and declarations of bankruptcies under NACE headings B to N +P+Q+R+S95+S96

 The EBS Regulation allows simplified reporting for small and medium countries below certain thresholds. Detailed information on the breakdowns to be delivered by each country is available on the Eurostat website.

3.7. Reference area

European Union, Euro area, EU individual Member StatesEFTA and accession countries. National reference metadata of the reporting countries can be found in the Annexes of this metadata file.

Please note that for the 3- and 4-digit levels of the NACE classification are required only from the largest Member States according to the EBS Regulation.

Data referring to EU accession countries are also published if available. Data of the United Kingdom are kept in Eurostat database until 2020; those data are not revised and not updated.

3.8. Coverage - Time

Time coverage varies from series to series. Typically, time series cover the period back to 2000, and sometimes to the year when the original STS regulation was adopted (1998).  Some countries provide data for earlier years. Historical series for a limited number of indices are available back to the 1980's.

New variables and breakdowns have been introduced from 2005 (import prices), 2006 (service producer prices), 2010 (hours worked and wages and salaries of trade and services) onwards and from 2021 (business registrations and bankruptcies; new services’ NACE headings).

3.9. Base period

The base year 2015=100 was introduced (for the country weights, used for calculating the European aggregates) progressively with the publication of the first 2018 data in the beginning of March 2018.

Data in the old base year 2010=100 remain available in the dissemination (Eurobase), but these time series are not updated anymore after the change to the new base year with the 2018 data. Time series with the old base year cover the period until end of 2017.

According to the EBS Regulation, all the Member States have to implement 2021 as the base year by the end of the year 2024 (see national reference metadata in Annexes). The base year 2021 is exceptional. Generally base years are years ending with “0” or “5”. The base year has to be updated every five years.

The average index value of the base year in the national time series may be slightly different from 100. This can happen if the number of working days in the base year is different from the long term average and if the data are not scaled (divided by the average of the base year) after calendar or seasonal adjustment.


4. Unit of measure Top

Indices, percentage changes.

Infra-annual percentage changes – changes between two consecutive months or quarters – are calculated on the basis of non-adjusted data (prices) or calendar and seasonally adjusted data (volume and value indicators).

Year-on-year changes – comparing a period to the same period of the previous year – are calculated on the basis of non-adjusted data (prices and employment) or calendar adjusted data (volume and value indicators).


5. Reference Period Top

INDUSTRY

  • Production: Month
  • Turnover: Month
  • Producer prices (Output prices): Month
  • Import prices: Month
  • Labour input indicators: Quarter (or Month, on voluntary basis)

 CONSTRUCTION

  • Production: Month for medium and large sized countries, Quarter (or Month, on voluntary basis) for small sized countries
  • Building permits indicators: Quarter (or Month, on voluntary basis)
  • Construction producer prices (Construction costs can be used to approximate producer prices): Quarter (or Month, on voluntary basis)
  • Labour input indicators: Quarter (or Month, on voluntary basis)

TRADE

  • Turnover (value): Month (retail trade, wholesale trade, trade and repair of motor vehicles
  • Labour input indicators: Quarter (or Month, on voluntary basis)

SERVICES

  • Production (volume): Month
  • Turnover (value): Month
  • Producer prices (Output prices): Quarter (or Month, on voluntary basis)
  • Labour input indicators: Quarter (or Month, on voluntary basis)

BUSINESS POPULATION

  • Quarter


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

The European Parliament and Council adopted the European Business Statistics (EBS) Regulation (EU) 2019/2152 on 27 November 2019, followed by the Commission Implementing Regulation 2020/1197 laying down technical specifications and arrangements pursuant to the mentioned EBS Regulation (General Implementing Act).

The former legal basis for the STS indicators is the Council Regulation No 1165/98 of 19 May 1998 concerning short-term statistics and subsequent amending regulations.

The references to the EBS Regulation and its implementing legal acts can be found on the Eurostat website. 

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

Eurostat makes available all the non-confidential data on its dissemination website. Selected non-confidential data are transmitted daily to the ECB (European Central Bank).


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

Eurostat publishes national 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 (EBS Regulation, Article 10). 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, they are however used for calculating the European aggregates. This case is currently also 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 sufficient quality, but for some reasons, countries would not want these data to be published. In such a case the NSI will 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 EBS 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 “not for publication” 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.


8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

National data (if not under embargo) are published after their reception and validation. European aggregates of the Euro indicators (with news releases or data releases, see 10.1) are released and revised once per month for both monthly and quarterly time series. Release dates are announced in Eurostat's release calendar.

European aggregates of STS labour indicators and construction prices or costs are released when 60% of the total in terms of EU or Euro area weight is reached. Data are 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 publishes its own release calendar containing the publication dates of the European aggregates before the beginning of the year. 

8.2. Release calendar access

Release calendar for Euro Indicators

National Statistical Institutes release calendars can be found on the web sites of National Statistical Institutes. Links are also available in national reference metadata.

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 - 'Accessibility and clarity') 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 the official release of data. 


9. Frequency of dissemination Top

European levels: Monthly, quarterly and annual frequency for each indicator, except producer prices in services, business registrations and bankruptcies, which are 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 annual frequency, the highest frequency (monthly or quarterly) depends on the frequencies of national data transmitted to Eurostat.


10. Accessibility and clarity Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

News releases on-line. News releases are issued at 11 a.m CET/CEST 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 Explained.

In the Statistics Explained collection, around 20 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 (i.e. impact of Covid-19 crisis) are accessible on the Short-term business statistics dedicated section of the Eurostat website.

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

STS data are disseminated in full detail in the Eurostat database. 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.

10.6. Documentation on methodology

The European business statistics manual, 2021 provides a detailed description of European business statistics, including how they are compiled and the methodologies behind them.

The EBS methodological manual for short-term business statistics, 2021 provides an overview of the most important methodological issues concerning STS

The EBS compilers manual for short-term business statistics, 2021 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.

National reference metadata of the reporting countries can be found in the Annexes of this metadata file.

10.7. Quality management - documentation

National reference metadata of the reporting countries can be found in the Annexes of this metadata file.

Eurostat published detailed quality reports for all PEEI ("PEEI in focus"). These 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 to date quality documentation is also published on the Short-term business statistics dedicated section.


11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

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

  • Usual quality checks in the process of validation of data
  • National reference metadata

 Concrete outputs are the following:

11.2. Quality management - assessment

The general quality of short-term statistics 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.

National reference metadata of the reporting countries can be found in the Annexes of this metadata file.


12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

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 European System of Central Banks, 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".
12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

User satisfaction is measured via download statistics for publications, hits on the short-term business statistics website. 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.

12.3. Completeness

Twice a year (every April and October), Eurostat assesses the reporting countries' compliance with the EBS Regulation. These assessments are, however, not available to the general public. Generally, the compliance with the EBS Regulation is very high.

According to the EBS Regulation, the smaller countries have simplified requirements and therefore the detailed European aggregates are based on the data of the big and the medium sized countries.


13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

The accuracy is guaranteed 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 and in national reference metadata.

13.2. Sampling error

The available information at country and indicator level is summarized in the reports PEEIs in focus and in national reference metadata.

13.3. Non-sampling error

The available information at country and indicator level is summarized in the reports PEEIs in focus and in national reference metadata.


14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. 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
  • Import prices: 1 month and 15 calendar days
  • Labour input indicators: 2 months for Number of employees and self-employed persons, 3 months for Hours worked and Gross wages and salaries (plus 15 calendar days for small and medium countries). 

CONSTRUCTION

  • Production: 1 month and 15 calendar days for medium and large countries, 2 months for small countries
  • Building permits indicators: 3 months
  • Construction producer prices (Construction costs): 3 months for large countries, plus 15 calendar days for small and medium countries
  • Labour input indicators: 2 months for Number of employees and self-employed persons, 3 months for Hours worked and Gross wages and salaries, (plus 15 calendar days for small and medium countries).

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 employees and self-employed persons, 3 months for Hours worked and Gross wages and salaries, (plus 15 calendar days for small and medium countries)

SERVICES

  • Production: 2 months
  • Turnover: 2 months
  • Output Prices (Producer prices): 3 months
  • Labour input indicators: 2 months for Number of employees and self-employed persons, 3 months for Hours worked and Gross wages and salaries, (plus 15 calendar days for small and medium countries). 

BUSINESS POPULATION  

  • 40 days
14.2. Punctuality

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

The regular compliance assessment confirms that the reporting countries are respecting the legal deadlines very well.


15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

The EBS Regulation and the EBS 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.

15.2. Comparability - over time

Generally, the comparability of national data has improved over time and is considered to be very good since the year 2000.

Comparability over time of the national data is reported in the national reference metadata.

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

Short-term business statistics are closely related to annual business statistics, national accounts and labour statistics. Cross domain comparability varies according to the reporting country, and is reported and in national reference metadata.

The use of administrative data, and the different definitions of statistical units (enterprise or kind-of-activity unit in business surveys; household in labour surveys), may be sources of differences in the results of different statistics.

15.4. Coherence - internal

The EBS Regulation and the related implementing act 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 EBS Regulation leaves Member States free to decide on the most efficient and effective ways of collecting and processing data.

Due to partial data coverage (no data from the smaller countries), national chain-linking and seasonal adjustment, it can sometimes happen that a higher aggregate is not coherent with its sub-aggregates for a particular period. This is rare for the totals.


16. 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.


17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

STS release and revision policy of the European aggregates are generally in line with the ESS guidelines on revision policy for PEEIs.

According to the 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 indicators with news release or data release are revised once per month for both monthly and quarterly time series.

European aggregates of STS labour indicators and construction prices or costs 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.

17.2. 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 Euro indicators, new information is integrated in the European aggregates on a regular basis (once per month).

Some information on the size of revisions 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.


18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. 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 national reference metadata. 

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 administrative sources may also 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. Registrations of new businesses and bankruptcies are entirely based on administrative data sources.

Estimations

The EBS Regulation 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.

18.2. Frequency of data collection

INDUSTRY

  • Production: Month
  • Turnover: Month
  • Output prices (Producer prices): Month
  • Import prices: Month
  • Labour input indicators: Quarter (or Month optional)

CONSTRUCTION

  • Production: Month  (Quarter for small countries)
  • Building permits indicators: Quarter (or Month optional)
  • Construction producer prices (Construction costs): Quarter (or Month optional)
  • Labour input indicators: Quarter (or Month optional)

TRADE

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

SERVICES

  • Production: Month
  • Turnover (value): Month
  • Producer prices (Output prices): Quarter
  • Labour input indicators: Quarter (or Month optional)

BUSINESS POPULATION

  • Quarter
18.3. Data collection

Detailed methodological information on Member States' data collection practices is available in the national reference metadata. 

18.4. Data validation

Data received from the countries – and the European indices compiled from these data – are validated using validation rules implemented in the pre-validation of incoming data files and in the data feeding software (Chapter 4, p.21 of Compilers’ manual). Some validation rules are applied on ad hoc basis.

At national level, editing involves studying data from respondents with the aim of identifying and 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.

18.5. 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.

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 corrected 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 (weight), 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 sometimes 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 trend and seasonality (if relevant) identified in the concerned time series (ARIMA forecast with a regular and seasonal component).

Infra-annual percentage changes - changes between two consecutive months or quarters - are calculated on the basis of non-adjusted data (prices) or seasonally adjusted data (volume and value indicators) and year-on-year changes –comparing a period to the same period one year ago – are calculated on the basis of non-adjusted data (prices and employment) or calendar adjusted data (volume and value indicators).

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 2015 data to calculate the European aggregates. 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. More detailed information can be made available upon request, subject to the agreement of the countries concerned.

18.6. Adjustment

According to the EBS Regulation, the countries are required to transmit calendar adjusted and seasonally adjusted figures for the following indicators:

  • Industrial production
  • Net turnover in industry
  • Production in construction
  • Hours worked
  • Wages and Salaries
  • Building Permits indicators  
  • Retail trade net turnover
  • Retail trade volume of sales (retail trade deflated turnover)
  • Services production
  • Net turnover in services

Additionally for the STS labour indicators, Member States are encouraged to transmit seasonally adjusted indices. If countries do not send seasonal adjusted data, Eurostat calculates the seasonally adjusted indices using TRAMO/SEATS method in JDemetra+ v. 2.2.2 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.

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://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Short-term_business_statistics_-_seasonal_adjustment_methods

 Calendar Adjustment

  • Industrial production, production in construction, building permits, deflated turnover for retail trade and service turnover and labour input indicators: 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. The impact of Covid-19 pandemic appears as additive outliers (AO) or transitory changes (TC) in the first half of 2020 for several time series.

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 net turnover (PEEIs) are in most cases seasonally adjusted by the reporting countries (more information in national reference metadata), because the seasonal adjustment is required in the EBS regulation.
  • Eurostat carries out seasonal adjustment for most of the time series of STS labour variables and industrial net turnover, as well as for detailed activity (NACE) levels of the PEEIs where Member States are not required to do seasonal adjustment.
  • If Eurostat carries out the adjustment, the direct adjustment method is used. This means all time-series are adjusted on an individual basis, starting from the default model (multiplicative airline model without outliers).
  • For difficult cases (less than 10% of all time series adjusted by Eurostat), 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.
  • Eurostat uses the JDemetra+ v. 2.2 package for seasonal adjustment.


19. Comment Top

Links available in short-term statistics dedicated pages on Eurostat's home page give access to the most recent data and publications.


Related metadata Top


Annexes Top
National_metadata_BCS_PVIES_Production_in_industry
National_metadata_BCS_TOIES_Turnover_in_industry
National_metadata_BCS_PPIES_Producer_prices_in_industry
National_metadata_BCS_IMPES_Import_prices_in_industry
National_metadata_BCS_PVCES_Production_in_construction
National_metadata_BCS_PPCES_Producer_prices_in_construction_or_construction_costs
National_metadata_BCS_BPIES_Building_permits
National_metadata_BCS_TOTES_Turnover_and_volume_of_sales_index
National_metadata_BCS_TOSES_Turnover_in_services
National_metadata_BCS_PPSES_Service_producer_prices_(SPPI)
National_metadata_BCS_LABES_Labour