Sources & Methods


Short-term Business Statistics (STS) produce early indicators for the industry, construction, retail trade, and services domains. The main set of indicators produced are those related to turnover, employment, hours worked, wages and salaries, producer prices and production.  Other indicators are produced depending on the domain being considered, such as import prices for the industry domain, building permits for the construction domain, and volume of sales for the retail trade domain.  These indicators are aggregated by the MIG (Main Industrial Grouping) level and/or 2-digit NACE.  The Main Industrial Groupings consist of a number of NACEs grouped together into categories and are used only for the industry domain. Such statistics are compiled under the European Business Statistics (EBS) Regulations 2019/2152 and 2020/1197.

Methodological description of survey

Data for STS is gathered by means of paper questionnaires that are 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 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, number of employees and turnover value.  Enterprises are selected from each strata ensuring that the most dominant enterprises within each strata are selected.

These questionnaires are sent on a monthly or quarterly basis, depending on the requirements of the respective domain.  Respondents can also fill in the questionnaire online.  Data for certain indicators is collected by email and from administrative sources.  NACE Rev. 2 is used for the NACE classification, the CPA classification is used for the breakdown of products, and the CC classification is used for the types of construction.

Data is mainly expressed in index form in relation to a given base year.  This means that the index is calculated based on the value of the variable in the current year when compared to a value of 100 assigned to the variable in the base period.  The Laspeyres index formula is used.  Data for the building permits is currently transmitted in numeric quantities.  STS data is compiled on a monthly or quarterly basis.

Accuracy and reliability of data

Information on the accuracy and reliability of data can be viewed in a dedicated ESMS metadata report available on the NSO’s metadata website.

Timeliness and punctuality of data

Data for STS is published in a News Release on a monthly or quarterly basis.  These are accessible on the NSO’s website and are published on the pre-established date, as scheduled in the Advance Release Calendar which can be viewed also on the NSO’s website.  STS data is also transmitted to Eurostat on a monthly and quarterly basis.

Accessibility and clarity of data

STS data can be accessed from the NSO website via the StatDB and can also be accessed from Eurostat’s database. An ESMS metadata report is also produced at a national level and is made available on the NSO’s metadata website.  Such a report is also transmitted to Eurostat on a yearly basis.

Coherence and comparability/consistency of data

STS data has been compiled since the year 2000.  Up to 2008 indicators were based on NACE Rev. 1.1.  From 2009 onwards indicators were published according to NACE Rev. 2.  Otherwise, STS data is comparable over time. Moreover, STS data is coherent with National Accounts data and Structural Business Statistics data.  STS data is also comparable with that of other countries due to the adoption of common methodological guidelines.


Survey NameDescriptionCopy of Questionnaire
QuarryingA monthly based questionnaire sent to a fixed sample of quarrying enterprises from the Business Register. These enterprises are included under Section B – Mining and Quarrying under NACE Rev 2.
ManufacturingThis monthly questionnaire is sent to approximately 400 manufacturing enterprises in Malta and Gozo from a fixed sample from the Business Register. These enterprises are engaged in activities listed under Section C under NACE Rev 2.
ConstructionThis is a quarterly based questionnaire on construction enterprises (site preparation and building of structures, roofs, canals, roads etc) in Malta and Gozo, for Section F under NACE Rev 2.
Water and Energy This is a monthly questionnaire that considers the industries of electricity generation and water supply in Malta.
Wholesale and Retail TradeThis is a quarterly based questionnaire on wholesale and retail trade (including the motor trade) within Malta and Gozo, for NACE activities under Section G of NACE Rev 2. However, turnover figures in this questionnaire are on a monthly basis.
ServicesThe services questionnaire is also a quarterly based questionnaire and the information collected here refers to those enterprises falling within Sections H, I, J, L, M and N of NACE Rev 2.
Producer Price IndexThe Industrial Producer Price Index is a monthly survey, targeting the manufacturing and energy (water and electricity) sectors. The index monitors the changes in ex-works sale prices of all leading products within a sample of around 70 large enterprises. Sampled enterprises account for over 80 per cent of total industrial turnover. The scope of the index is to provide a measure of upstream inflation, at producer level, to supplement the measure of inflation faced by the household sector, as provided by the Retail Price Index (RPI) and Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP).
Industrial ProductionThis questionnaire is sent monthly to approximately 130 manufacturing enterprises to collect data on their most representative products produced within the reference period. Together with other data sources within the remit of Short-term Business Statistics, the Index of Industrial Production, which is considered as one of the most important economic indicators, can be compiled.
Kalkulatur tal-Inflazzjoni Kalendarju tal-Istqarrijiet tal-Aħbarijiet Talbiet għat-Tagħrif Mistoqsijiet dwar il-Kodiċi tan-NACE
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