Regional Trade Statistics – 2015 consultation results

HMRC Trade Statistics carried out an informal statistical consultation on the future and methodology of the Regional Trade Statistics (RTS).

The main reasons for the review were:

  • To ensure the statistics produced were fit for purpose and still required by users;
  • To look at options that improved the usability and quality of the statistics produced;
  • To harmonise if possible with the methodologies employed for other regional based statistics produced across the Government Statistical Service (GSS);
  • To identify the right balance between producing statistics at regions / locations, with product and partner country; but still ensuring disclosure controls;
  • To improve the accuracy of number of businesses count, incorporating additional data sources if possible.

The consultation ran from October 2015 to January 2016 and as a result of the consultation’s findings, releases from the 2016 Q3 release onwards incorporated the following changes to the methodology and presentation:

  • Allocates a business’ trade to a region based on their proportion of employees in that region rather than where the location of the Head Office of the business is;
  • Divides trade that cannot be allocated to a region into ‘Known’ and ‘Unknown’;
  • For specific energy goods uses data received by HMRC direct from interconnector and rig operators rather than the business doing the trade;
  • The number of businesses includes all VAT Registered traders;
  • Shorter commentary for publications relating to Quarters 1, 2 and 3; followed by fuller report for Quarter 4.

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