Structural Business Statistics


Structural Business Statistics (SBS) describe the structure, activity, and performance of businesses in the local scenario.  SBS produces statistics on various characteristics including turnover, production, value added, gross operating surplus, purchases of goods and services, personnel costs, wages and salaries, social security costs, investment, persons employed, employees, and number of enterprises.  These are mainly broken down by NACE covering NACE Sections B to N and NACE Division S95..  Moreover, certain variables are also broken down by headcount and turnover groups.  SBS also reports data relating to Business Services for certain NACE classes and divisions.  These consist of the turnover variable broken down by products and by type of client residence.  Such statistics are compiled under European Framework Regulation (EC) No. 295/2008. 

Methodological description of survey

Data for SBS is collected annually by means of a paper questionnaire that is sent by post to a sample of resident enterprises selected from the Business Register.  Data on SPEs, government institutions, enterprises that are resident abroad or are classified as statistically irrelevant, shipping or aviation in the Business Register are excluded from the sample.  Once the set of all eligible enterprises is determined, enterprises are divided into strata according to their NACE Division, number of employees and turnover value.  A random sample of enterprises is selected for each stratum.  Data on NACE Section K (Financial and Insurance Activities) is only available for NACE classes K64.11, K64.19 and NACE Division K65. These statistics are obtained respectively from external administrative sources. 

NACE Rev. 2 is used for the activity classification whilst the CPA version 2013 (Statistical Classification of Products by Activity Version 2.1) is used for the classification of products.  Variables relating to persons employed, employees and number of enterprises are expressed in units, whereas the other monetary variables are expressed in thousands of Euros.  Data on credit institutions are reported in millions of Euros.

Accuracy and reliability of data

Information on the accuracy and reliability of SBS data can be viewed in a dedicated ESMS metadata report available on the NSO’s metadata website.  Prior to transmission, data is also checked for consistency by means of Eurostat’s EDIT tool.

Timeliness and punctuality of data

Data for reference year N is transmitted to Eurostat by the end of June of year N+18 months (18 months from the end of the reference year), so as to satisfy the requirements of the Regulation.  Preliminary data together with data on central banking and credit institutions is transmitted to Eurostat by the end of October of year N+10 months (10 months from the end of the reference year), whilst data on insurance services is transmitted with the other SBS data 18 months from the end of the reference year.

Accessibility and clarity of data

SBS data can be accessed from Eurostat’s database​.  A  Quality Report is transmitted to Eurostat 21 months after the end of the reference year (N+21 months).  An ESMS metadata report is updated yearly and published on the NSO website.

Coherence and comparability/consistency of data

SBS data is comparable over time.  A change in the NACE classification was brought about for reference year 2008 with the introduction of NACE Rev. 2.  Therefore, data for SBS is comparable for all reference years as from 2008. As from reference year 2011, data is comparable up to NACE 2 digit level.  SBS data follows the same trends as Short-Term Statistics data, Business Registers and National Accounts data.  This data is also comparable to that of other EU countries due to the common definitions and methodologies used to compile the data.

Questionnaire​ | Metadata


Other Documents:​ ​
Guidelines on the completion of the SBS Questionnaire 2015

Contact Information: 

Ms Elaine G Borg
Head of Unit​
2599 7342