International recommendations for industrial statistics 2008

image of International recommendations for industrial statistics 2008

The present publication is a component of the United Nations Statistics Division initiative for strengthening countries methodological and operational foundation for industrial statistics. Although this publication makes recommendations for industrial statistics, many elements of its recommendations, like those for the definition and delineation of statistical units and its guidance on a data-collection strategy and data compilation practices, are generally applicable to the development of an integrated economic statistics system for business statistics in general, with a view to collecting, compiling and reporting basic economic data across economic activities, in the most cost-efficient manner, consistent with macroeconomic statistics. This publication is designed to provide a comprehensive methodological framework for the collection and reporting of industrial statistics in all countries, irrespective of the level of development of their statistical systems.

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Scope of industrial statistics

In general, the term “economic activity” is understood as referring to a process, that is to say, to the combination of actions carried out by a certain entity that uses labour, capital, goods and services to produce specific products (goods and services). An activity is characterized by (a) an input of resources; (b) a production process; and (c) an output of products. By convention, a single activity is understood as a process resulting in a homogeneous type of product. It is recognized that one activity may consist of one simple process or may cover a whole range of sub-processes, each of which might be classified in a different activity category. For statistical purposes, an entity engaged in a given activity may be treated as either simple or complex. A simple entity is not subdivided into parts to which activities are attributed, while a complex entity is, by definition, composed of several sub-entities, each of which is seen as performing a specific activity. An entity engaged in more than one economic activity may produce more than one product. Such an entity may be subdivided into parts, each performing separate activities that produce separate products, if either bookkeeping records allow or there exist some statistical methods developed for the purpose of separation; each part of the entity may in this case also serve as a statistical unit.

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