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Business inventories – a comparison with previous inventories surveys

The Business inventories survey replaces the surveys on Inventories in trade and services and Industrial inventories as of the reference period 2021Q2.

The former time series will no longer be updated but will remain available in the Statistical Database under the headings Inventories in trade and services, older statistics, no longer updated and Industrial inventories, older statistics, no longer updated. These time series are comparable to Business inventories. All previous statistical news items and older documentation have been moved to the Business inventories product page.

Eventually, and if time allows, Statistics Sweden aims to publish longer time series. At present, only the information below is presented, concerning comparability of old inventories surveys with Business inventories.

Why do we need a new survey?

In the past, these surveys were separate for various reasons, but this division no longer serves any real purpose. Combining the surveys is expected to make them more straightforward for both respondents and users. Industrial inventories and Inventories in trade and services were already coordinated in terms of aspects such as sample design, estimation and collection variables, and the results were also published jointly in a statistical news item. In other respects, the surveys were independent.

The most significant change compared with the old surveys is considered to be the new questionnaire, which is now common to all respondents, regardless of industry affiliation. The new questionnaire has questions concerning data on all types of inventories from all industries, while the old questionnaire only had questions on the most common types of inventories for each industry.

A comparison of Industrial inventories and Business inventories

The Industrial inventories survey presented the quarterly progression of industrial inventories (sections B+C according to the Swedish Standard Industrial Classification, SNI 2007), broken down by four types of inventories. The inventory types have been renamed, since they are now collected based on the names in the most recent BAS accounting plan. However, the questionnaire for Industrial inventories referred to these BAS accounts, so comparability is considered to be good.

Name Business inventoriesName Industrial inventoriesBAS accounts
Raw materials and consumables Input goods 141x and 142x
Products in progress Goods in progress 144x
Finished goods Finished goods of own manufacturing 145x
Goods for resale Finished goods of foreign manufacturing 146x

A comparison of Inventories for trade and services and Business inventories

The Inventories for trade and services surveypresented the quarterly progression of goods for resale (corresponding to BAS account 146x) in wholesale and retail trade (section G according to the Swedish Standard Industrial Classification, SNI 2007). In other words, the progression of inventories published in the tables on Inventories for trade and services is comparable with the inventory type goods for resale in Business inventories. In the current questionnaire, numerous types of inventories are collected. However, because the majority of the inventories of the wholesale and retail trade consist of goods for resale, no other types of inventories are currently being published in the Statistical Database.

In the Inventories for trade and services survey, inventory data was also collected from the services activities (sections M+J, excluding veterinary activities). Parts of these statistics have been used for Statistics Sweden’s National Accounts. This industry is currently under review, with the aim to also publish this industry in the Statistical Database for the reference period 2021Q2 and onwards. Inventory types that are relevant for publication include goods for resale and work in progress (corresponding to base account 147x).

More information

Further information on comparability is available in Section 5.1 of the Quality Declaration (in Swedish) for Business inventories. The Swedish Better Regulation Council statement on Statistics Sweden’s proposal for new regulations (in Swedish) is also available, and contains an impact analysis on planned changes in the inventory surveys. The new ordinance (in Swedish) is available here SCB-FS 2021:16.