What are short-term business statistics?

Short-term statistics (STS) describe the most recent developments of European economies. STS cover four major economic domains: industry, construction, trade and services (for example transport, information and communication, business services but not financial services).

In the field of STS, the development in the different economic domains is described with a series of indicators (STS indicators) such as production, turnover, prices, number of persons employed, gross wages and several more.

STS indicators are published as indices which show the changes of the indicator in comparison with a fixed reference year. The indicators do not represent absolute amounts or monetary values.

STS indicators are generally published with a monthly frequency. The publication dates are announced in advance in the Release calendar for Euro indicators. STS indicators do not only cover the single Member States of the European Union but also provide aggregate data for the EU, the euro area and data for EFTA and candidate countries.

Data on the business economy are also provided by other statistical areas such as structural business statistics and national accounts .

Data sources, comparability of national data and calculation of European indicators

Information about economic short-term developments is collected by the national statistical institutes with business surveys; in addition administrative data are used.

Comparability between the national results published by Eurostat is ensured by detailed legal rules regarding the definitions of indicators, the level of detail, reference periods etc. These rules are laid down in Regulation 1165/98 and subsequent implementing and amending regulations. Twice a year Eurostat checks Member States' compliance with the Regulation.

STS indicators for the European Union and the euro area are calculated as weighted averages of countries' indicators. The weights reflect the countries relative sizes in a given base year for the relevant economic sectors and indicators (e.g. the relative share in the European industrial production of cars, the relative shares in the European turnover in business services etc.)

STS indicators are published as calendar adjusted time series and as seasonally adjusted time series. For the calendar adjustment, special calendar effects (e.g. public holidays) are removed. Additionally, for seasonal adjustment, special effects like increased retail trade turnover in December because of Christmas shopping or reduced industrial production during summer holidays are corrected. These adjustments facilitate the month to month comparison of indicators.