Comparing imports based on microdata with FIGARO, 2020

© Hollandse Hoogte
This publication considers imports by each Dutch industry from each industry in several countries and compares results obtained using microdata with data in FIGARO, a Eurostat dataset, for 2020.

High quality international trade data is necessary for analysis of global supply chains and the calculation of environmental footprint indicators. This study employs a procedure using microdata to create national accounts consistent import data. It maximally uses the national data in the European Statistical System (ESS), such as data about trade in goods and services, trade by enterprise characteristics (TEC and STEC), the general business register and national accounts. This allows for more detail in products, industries and countries.

An analysis of the newly compiled data is carried out with a comparison to the import data in the FIGARO multi-region input-output table. In addition, the “foreign production requirement” of the Netherlands derived using FIGARO is compared to that derived with the use of microdata. This provides more insights into the effects of microdata use for footprint calculations. The findings show that the microdata results conform closely to FIGARO at the aggregate level. Several important differences do however exist at the detailed level. The imports of retail and wholesale services are substantially less when microdata is used. Furthermore, trade with certain countries, particularly the United States, the United Kingdom and Belgium, is substantially different from the numbers in FIGARO. There are also important differences regarding the imports from foreign mining and quarrying sectors and from foreign manufacturers of coke and petroleum. It is likely to have a noticeable effect on footprint results.

The scripts for creating the international trade data, including an example with dummy data, are provided to Eurostat with the intention that other National Statistical Institutes can employ these techniques.

This study and the corresponding report are in the context of the Eurostat Grant SMP-ESS-2022-EGD-IBA, project 2022-NL-EGD, project number 10111.