News 1 Feb 2024
Base year of short-term business statistics changes
Short-term business statistics are renewed in connection with the publication of data for 2024, when the reference period, the base year, is updated from 2015 to 2021.
The renewal concerns the following statistics: Producer price indices, Producer price indices for services, Turnover of service industries, Index of turnover of construction, Turnover of trade, Index of turnover in industry, Volume index of industrial output, New orders in manufacturing and Wage and salary indices.
The new base year is defined in Regulation (No 2019/2152) of the European Parliament and of the Council on European business statistics and it concerns short-term business statistics of all Member States.
In future, database tables published with the old base year (2015=100) will no longer be updated. Exceptions to this are producer price indices and producer price indices for services, where the updating of database tables with the old base year continues. In producer price indices the indices of the base years 2015=100, 2010=100, 2005=100 and 1949=100 will be calculated forward by chaining with the changes of the latest base year, so they will in future develop in the same way as the base year 2021=100 indices.
In connection with the change of the base year, a number of other renewals are also introduced in the statistics.
Turnover and wage and salary indices speeded up
The separate preliminary releases of indices of turnover published at a lag of around one month will be discontinued. In future, all indices of turnover will be published at a lag of around one month from the statistical reference period. Volume indices belonging to turnover indices will also in future be published at a lag of around one month. The acceleration does not concern the volume index of industrial output separate from the index of turnover in industry.
The release lag of around one and a half months of the wage and salary indices will also accelerate and in future they will be published at a lag of slightly over one month from the statistical reference period.
Data become revised
In connection with updating the base year, the indices are recalculated from the beginning of 2021. In this connection, the data may become revised. The effects are of qualitative nature and are visible as revisions to data in some of the published industries. Differing from the others, producer price indices for manufactured products and services are not recalculated.
Along with the change of the base year, the limitation of turnover data will be changed. This is based on the EU Regulation on business statistics according to which the index must describe market output. Therefore, activities that are not market-based are excluded from the statistics more precisely than before. The change in the limitation of market-based activities does not affect the wage and salary indices or producer price indices for manufactured products and services.
Changes may occur in the seasonal variation of index series as a result of data revisions and change of the base year. The seasonal adjustment models used in the calculation of seasonally adjusted series of the statistics are reviewed in connection with the change of the base year. Weak models according to diagnostics are re-evaluated. The aim is to keep the previously observed permanent level shifts or outliers unchanged, but in other respects quality is improved by looking for a more suitable time series model with the help of seasonal adjustment software.
Weight structures are updated
Producer price indices for manufactured products and services are chain indices, so their sample and weight structure are updated annually. In connection with the first releases of 2024, the weight structure of producer price indices is updated to correspond to the structure of the economy in 2023. Further information about the weight structure update can be found under comparability in the documentation section of the statistics. Further information is available on the producer price indices for manufactured products starting from 28 February 2024 and for the producer price indices for services from 24 April 2024.
The industry-specific value added weights and stratum-specific gross value weights of the volume index of industrial output are changed to correspond to the situation in 2022. These updates also cause changes to the data of earlier months and years.
The weight structure of the index of new orders in manufacturing is updated to correspond to the situation in 2021, which causes changes to the previously published data for 2022 and 2023.
Published data content changes
The content of producer price indices for services will expand: starting from 2024, categories 87 Residential care services and 88 Social work services without accommodation in the CPA 2015 product classification will be published as new index series.
In the index of turnover of service industries, the publication of data for industries 812 Cleaning activities and 94 Activities of membership organisations will be discontinued and the data for industries 69 Legal and accounting activities and 702 Management consultancy previously published together will in future be published as two separate index series.
From the statistical reference year 2021 onwards, the index of turnover of construction includes exports abroad in addition to domestic sales. Domestic sales and exports abroad are not published as separate series, but in future, turnover will describe the combined development of both. The background and reasons for the change are described in the working paper Globalisation and economic statistics.
New series are added to the turnover of trade under 45 Wholesale and retail trade and repair services of motor vehicles and motorcycles, 46 Wholesale trade and 47 Retail trade. At the same time, series are removed from 45 Wholesale and retail trade and repair services of motor vehicles and motorcycles, as well as from 47 Retail trade services. The data of the series to be removed can also in future be viewed from archived database tables, but they are no longer updated. A table on the new content of turnover of trade is visible in the change release.
New variables based on the Incomes Register will be adopted
A new wages and salaries sum according to the Incomes Register will be introduced in the wage and salary indices in connection with the change of the base year. In future, the wages and salaries sum will be allocated according to the earnings period instead of the previous payment-based month. Thus, the wages and salaries sum is better allocated relative to the used labour input. The change will in future cause more index revisions than usual for the most recent month published.
In connection with the change of the base year, a new monthly estimate of the number of personnel will also be adopted for assignments of the tailored trend indicator service. Previously, the monthly number of personnel in the enterprise was estimated by using the enterprise's wages and salaries sum data and industry-specific structure of earnings data. In future, the monthly number of personnel will be estimated by using the Incomes Register's data more diversely, because the estimate is thus more accurate.
The Incomes Register data can be used to form a precise picture of the characteristics of individual enterprises and persons, such as wage and salary payment and occupational data, which can be used as part of the estimation model. Wage and salary payment data according to national accounts based on income types and deductions and divided into payment periods enable the temporal allocation and estimate of employees' work input on the enterprise and establishment level. Thus, the structure of the enterprise's personnel and various deviating payment items, such as holiday bonuses and performance-based bonuses, are taken into account better when estimating the monthly number of employees in the enterprise.
Changes also have an effect on chargeable assignments
The changes to be made to official statistics also apply to chargeable assignments so that the results will continue to be comparable with those of official statistics. Changes affecting the calculation of turnover and wage and salary indices will in future be taken into account in the indices produced by the Tailored trend indicator service.
The special indices of producer price indices delivered to enterprises should also be updated from time to time to keep them up-to-date. In connection with the update, it can be checked that the index series included are still essential and the weight structure of the special index is up-to-date. Special indices are chargeable products, so their updating is also chargeable.
Further information about changes to an individual set of statistics is available primarily from the expert responsible for the statistics concerned:
Producer price indices
Producer price indices for services
Turnover of service industries
Index of turnover of construction
Turnover of trade
Index of turnover in industry
Volume index of industrial output
New orders in manufacturing
Wage and salary indices
Further information about the effect on charged assignments:
Tailored trend indicator service: email@example.com
Special indices of producer price indices: firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions generally related to the base year change of short-term business statistics:
Project Manager, Senior Statistician Tony Valve, tel. +358 29 551 3453.