Representativity of VAT and survey data for short term business statistics

Monthly Short Term Business statistics at Statistics Netherlands can be based on survey data, VAT records or a combination of these two data sources. Both sources are incomplete when statistics need to be produced. The survey response rate increases gradually in time and is still far from 100% after a month of data collection. The VAT register also fills gradually in time because i) quite some enterprises report on a quarterly or annual basis, and iii) those that report on a monthly basis report unevenly spread over time.In this paper we investigate and compare the representativity of survey and VAT response as a function of time. The objective is to determine whether VAT is as representative as survey data and can be used to produce accurate statistics. For this purpose we use so-called Representativity (R)-indicators and partial R-indicators. The results can be used in designing data collection for monthly statistics and in assessing the timing of processing survey and register data.

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