What does the survey comprise?
To provide and publish data on imports and exports of services by enterprises and individuals registered in the Netherlands.
The collected data are used for the current accounts of the Netherlands balance of payments, and also used in the calculation of the gross domestic product and economic growth. In addition, these data fit in with the European statistics in this area.
Enterprises and individuals registered in the Netherlands active in imports or exports of services. Data for international services, except travel, are based on survey of enterprises. Data for travel are based on individual information from household surveys and the survey on overnight stays in Dutch accommodation.
Enterprises and individuals registered in the Netherlands.
Date/year survey started
Until 2003, the Dutch Central Bank (DNB) was responsible for reporting statistics on international trade in services. In April 2003 Statistics Netherlands took over this task from the DNB and developed the registration of statistics on Dutch international trade in services that replaced the equivalent data previously collected by the DNB. Statistics Netherlands already collected data for Dutch travel statistics (since 2002).
Quarterly. Annual data become available at the same time as the fourth quarter figures.
As a rule, provisional quarterly figures become available three months after the period under review. The figures may be adjusted six months after the quarter under review as a result of improvements and increases in response. This means that during this time the figures remain provisional. Definite quarterly figures become available in the last quarter of the statistical year. The annual, more detailed figures become available at the same time.
Figures that may reveal the identity of individual respondents are not published and marked as “x” in the StatLine table.
How is the survey conducted?
Data for international trade in services are compiled from a combination of information sources:
- Each quarter, Statistics Netherlands requests enterprises to supply data on imports and exports of services. The large enterprises (i.e. those with high values of imports or exports of services) in the international trade in services are all observed, while for the smaller enterprises (i.e. those with lower values of imports or exports of services), the results are based on a sample.
- Statistics Netherlands receives quarterly figures from the DNB on international trade of services by monetary financial institutions and special financial Institutions.
- - For information on travel services, the import value of travel (= expenditure of Dutch residents abroad) is based on the results of the Continuous Holiday Survey conducted by NBTC-NIPO Research. The estimation of export value of travel (= spending by foreigners in the Netherlands) is based on sample data from survey of overnight stays in Dutch accommodation and the price index figures for consumption by foreigners in the Netherlands.
- Data from the international goods trade statistics are used to adjust figures for transport services for exports and imports, and for insurance services for exports only.
- For a number of services, the estimation of import and export values is based on a time series model. These are financial services, insurance services, government services, transit trade and other trade related services.
Data from enterprises are collected mostly through electronic questionnaires.
Statistics Netherlands collects information from enterprises (registered in the Netherlands), the Dutch Central Bank (DNB) and NBTC-NIPO Research (for travel information).
Enterprises directly questioned by Statistics Netherlands can be divided in two groups : an exhaustive survey of large enterprises (i.e. those with high values of imports or exports of services) and a sample survey of the remaining enterprises (i.e. those with lower values of imports or exports of services). The 350 large enterprises provide the most detailed information. This comprises 55 services categories, imports and exports, and a geographical breakdown for 250 countries.
The size of the sample comprises about 5,000 units. They receive a questionnaire with a less detailed breakdown covering some 25 services
Checking and correction methods
Results are compared with those for previous years (time series) to analyse data plausibility.
In the case of non-response, values are imputed on the basis of figures from earlier quarters. If these figures are missing the extra weight method is applied.
The stratification of the sample enterprises is based on economic activity, employee size class and the expected chance that the enterprise imports or exports services. Using these characteristics, data are subsequently weighted by the frame from which the sample is drawn. Imports of travel are based on characteristics of travelers abroad (sex, age, region, urbanization and education) weighted by the total Dutch population. For exports of travel, samples from Dutch accommodation providers are weighted using a regression estimator for the total population of accommodation providers. Data from other sources are included in the results without weights.
Quality of the results
Is not easy to establish an accurate sampling frame for statistics on international trade in services. Not all enterprises can be used for the sampling frame. Statistics on international trade in services describe imports and exports of services in the Netherlands. The population is defined as all enterprises (and individuals) registered in the Netherlands. The number of enterprises that are actually active in services is small compared with the total number of enterprises in the Netherlands. Therefore it is impossible to use all companies as a sampling frame. By combining different data sources an efficient and complete target population could be composed to measure total imports and exports of services to and from the Netherlands. Adjustments are applied to compensate for the companies lacking in the various sources.
By applying different data sources and new statistical methods, statistics on international trade in services for years 2006 and later are composed in a different way than in previous years. Therefore, there is a break in series: the figures for 2003-2005 are not completely comparable with the figures from 2006 onwards. The statistics on international trade in services are mostly based on sample data. The data sources that Statistics Netherlands used to compile a sample frame were outdated. The new method - applied for figures for 2006 and later - uses new sources to trace companies that are active in imports and exports of services. A new estimation method is also used for the calculation of import and export values for each service. The new method also gives a better estimate of the distribution of import and export values of services across different countries and groups of countries.