Business survey Netherlands; region; month

What is the study about?


The purpose of the business survey monthly series is to provide an indication of the direction in which a number of important indicators of the economy of the private sector, e.g. turnover, orders, prices/rates and staff, are developing.

Target population

Businesses in the sector services (SIC 49-96), retail trade and manufacturing industry.

Statistical unit

Until October 2008: Businesses

From October 2008 onwards: Business establishments

Start of the survey

Services: April 1992. Up to and including 2006: every quarter. From 2007 onwards: every month.

Retail trade: April 2008

Manufacturing industry: January 1985. Since February 1989, the figures can be accessed on StatLine.



Publication strategy

The results are published on StatLine via the website of Statistics Netherlands (CBS), no later than the last working day of the month. Upon publication, the status of the figures is definite.

How is the survey conducted?

Type of survey

Sample survey among active local business establishments employing 5 or more staff. Business establishments are classified according to size and region on the basis of their own size and location. To facilitate consistency with other economic statistics, the classification is made on the basis of primary activity of the ‘business unit’ as used by CBS. If a business has more than one establishment, all establishments are classified according to the primary activity of the business as a whole.

Observation method

The vast majority of data is collected digitally. A marginal amount of surveys is collected on paper. Most COEN questions are quickly and easily to answer, because the share of numerical answers which require further administrative control is very limited.


Until October 2008: Businesses

From October 2008 onwards: business establishments

Sample size

The size of the sample includes approximately 6,000 business establishments. Usually, the total response exceeds 4,750 establishments.

Control and correction methods

The response provided by business establishments is evaluated on the basis of plausibility, completeness and consistency. In the case of non-response, the results are estimated.

Data accuracy

During the survey, data are collected with respect to anticipated turnover, price and employment developments. Expectations received earlier are systematically analysed and compared to actual developments collected on the basis of other surveys. A margin of error is calculated in order to evaluate the degree of reliability of the results.

Sequential comparability

The method followed to process sample data aims to safeguard sequential comparability of the results.

Quality strategy

Answers of companies are evaluated with respect to completeness, internal consistency and plausibility. The results are also systematically analysed and compared to the results of similar surveys held in adjacent countries. The process used to compile these statistics meets the ISO 9001 directive.