Turnover statistics

What does the survey comprise?


The turnover statistics give an insight into short-term developments (four-weekly, monthly or quarterly) in turnover in the various sectors of industry. Statistics Netherlands compiles turnover statistics for the following sectors of industry: mining and quarrying, manufacturing, production and distribution of energy and water, construction, the motor industry, repair of consumer goods, retail trade, transportation and storage, hotel and restaurant sector, and business and personal services.

Target population

Enterprises that are economically active in one of the above-mentioned sectors in the period under review.  

Statistical unit

The enterprise. Statistics Netherlands defines an enterprise as an actual participant in the process of production of goods and/or provision of services, characterised by autonomy in decision-making about its production process, and by the provision of its products and/or services to third parties. An enterprise is economically active if at least one person works there for at least 15 hours per week. An enterprise is not necessarily equal to a legal entity (e.g. a limited or private company), but may consist of one or more legal entities which together form an autonomous entity in the production process. 

In January 2010 Statistics Netherlands has changed the setup of a number of enterprises. The results fit better with the Dutch tax system. Doing so will greatly enhance the statistical purposes to the registers of other government organisations, especially the fiscal registers. The changes may have a temporary effect on the outcome of economic statistics. For further information, see Changing the setup of enterprise groups.  

Date/year survey started

The oldest turnover statistics are those on manufacturing and the retail trade. They date from the end of the 1940s. Turnover statistics for other sectors of industry were developed in due course. 


Four-weekly, monthly or quarterly.

Publication strategy

  • Statistics based on four-weekly or monthly surveys
    As a rule, provisional figures become available six to eight weeks after the period under review. In subsequent review periods (the number of periods varies per series), these provisional figures may be adjusted. After a set number of periods (again the number of periods varies per series), definite figures are published.
  • Statistics based on quarterly surveys
    As a rule provisional figures become available two to three months after the period under review; adjusted provisional figures are published one quarter later, and definite figures after another quarter.

As response increases in the course of the time, the accuracy of the figures also increases and Statistics Netherlands can publish more detailed figures. Definite figures are only revised if significant adjustments or corrections are necessary for some reason.

How is the survey carried out?

Survey type

Data for the turnover statistics are taken from tax registrations as much as possible. In addition, enterprises with fewer than 50 employees receive a questionnaire on a sample basis, and enterprises with 50 employees or more are all included in the survey.

Survey method

Respondents may submit the required data electronically or on paper.


Enterprises. Furthermore the tax authorities supply registration data.

Sample size

The sample size varies strongly per sector of industry, as the number of enterprises also varies per sector. Overall more than 42,000 enterprises are approached to participate in the survey. This is about 6 percent of enterprises in the Netherlands.

Checking and correction methods

Statistics Netherlands conducts plausibility checks on data received from enterprises. Among other things the figures are compared with those for previous months/quarters and those for the same month or quarter of the previous year. If the latter figures are lacking or are too ambiguous, the figures are compared with the averages of similar enterprises ( i.e. companies of the same size active in the same sector). If inconsistencies are established, they are corrected automatically or manually. For reasons of efficiency, manual correction is almost only used for the largest enterprises, in view of the impact of the figures of these enterprises on the final total figures of the sector to which they belong.    


Received data are raised to the total number of enterprises in a sector in the period under review. Figures are estimated for enterprises for which no response has (yet) been received or for which no register data are available. Data from former survey periods and developments in sector concerned are used for these estimations.

Quality of the results


As the results are mainly based on a sample survey, there is a certain margin of error.

Sequential comparability

As the turnover statistics aim to show current and recent developments, Statistics Netherlands corrects for important breaks in series that occur as a consequence of changes in methods and definitions.

Quality strategy

The survey results are only published after the plausibility checks. These checks include:

  • time series analyses (consistency in time);
  • indicator analyses (relationship between variables);
  • confrontation with results from other sources.