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Statistical bulletin: UK Manufacturers' Sales by Product (PRODCOM) for 2012 This product is designated as National Statistics

Released: 19 December 2013 Download PDF

Key points

  • The latest estimate of the value of UK manufacturers’ product sales was £341.7 billion in 2012.
  • The value of UK manufacturers’ product sales in 2012 (in current prices) was 1% (£3.7 billion) above the level seen in 2011. This increase is a continuation of the recovery in manufacturers’ values of sales seen between 2009 and 2011.
  • The industries driving the growth in UK manufacturing sales between 2011 and 2012 were the manufacture of food products (Division 10), the manufacture of transport equipment (Division 30) and the manufacture of motor vehicles; trailers and semi-trailers (Division 29).
  • Of the top 10 products by sales value, five were related to the motor vehicle and aircraft industries, while three were from the drinks industries (soft drinks, beer and whisky).

Overview

The aim of this statistical bulletin and associated data tables are to inform users of the latest statistics for the value and volumes of manufacturers’ product sales in the UK. It provides intermediate estimates of manufacturers’ sales by product, from businesses based in the UK in 2012, and final estimates for 2011.These statistics are commonly referred to as PRODCOM, from the French ‘PRODuction COMmunautaire’ (Community Production). In the UK, these were formally known as the Products of the European Community (PRODCOM) Survey.

The PRODCOM Survey is carried out annually by all EU member states, under EU regulation, to enable comparison and, where possible, produce a picture of emerging developments of an industry or product in a European context; the latest data for all EU members can be found on the Eurostat website.

The PRODCOM Survey has a wide range of uses: for example, PRODCOM statistics are used to produce the UK National Accounts Supply Table, an integral part of measurement of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). PRODCOM statistics are used by the Devolved Administrations and central and local government to monitor and inform policy development. The PRODCOM estimates are accompanied by HMRC’s data on imports and exports, both intra (EU) and extra (non-EU) in this release. By combining this trade data with PRODCOM sales data the statistics are useful for helping users gauge market share, and for businesses to better understand how to establish new markets for their products. For other uses see Background Note 4.

All estimates of the value of sales are presented at current prices, meaning that they have not been adjusted for inflation; this is important to bear in mind when comparing value changes over time. This release contains data from 2008 to 2012. Due to an industry reclassification in 2008 comparisons with industry and product data prior to 2008 are difficult to make.

ONS makes every effort to provide informative commentary on the data in this release. Where possible, the commentary draws on evidence from businesses or other sources of information to help explain possible reasons behind the observed changes. However, in some places it can prove difficult to elicit detailed reasons for movements, for example, businesses may state a ‘change in the production strategy’ or ‘products being made under a new contract order’. Consequently, it is not possible for all data movements to be fully explained.

User engagement

We are constantly aiming to improve this release and its associated commentary. We would welcome any feedback you might have and would be particularly interested in knowing how you make use of these data to inform your work. Please contact us via email: prodcompublications@ons.gsi.gov.uk or telephone Hannah Finselbach on +44 (0)1633 456746

UK manufacturers' sales 2011 and 2012

In 2012, the latest estimate of the value of UK manufacturers’ product sales, in current prices, was £341.7 billion. This is an increase of 1% (£3.7 billion) compared with 2011, a continuation of the recovery in manufacturers’ values of sales seen between 2009 and 2011 although at a slower rate.

The latest estimated value of UK manufacturers’ product sales in 2012 was 3.2% (£10.5 billion) above the level seen in 2008. The drop and subsequent recovery in the value of industrial production sales described by the PRODCOM Statistics between 2008 and 2012 is broadly in line with trends seen in other data sources, such as the Annual Business Survey and National Accounts.

The latest (intermediate) estimate of the value of UK manufacturers’ product sales in 2012 has been revised downwards from the provisional estimate of £342.2 billion. The final estimate of the value of UK manufacturers’ product sales for 2011 was £338.1 billion and has been revised upwards by £0.1 billion from £338.0 billion (see Background Note 5 for further information on revisions).

Figure 1: Total value of UK's manufacturer's product sales

Figure 1: Total value of UK's manufacturer's product sales
Source: Office for National Statistics

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European comparison

Map 1 shows the share of total value of EU-27 manufacturers’ product sales for each member state in 2012. The UK contributes between 5% and 10% of total EU sold production. Germany accounts for over a quarter of all EU manufacturers’ sales. France and Italy are the only other Member States that contribute more than 10% of total EU-27 manufacturers’ sales. Greece, Bulgaria, Slovenia, and the Baltic countries each contribute less than 1% to the total EU-27 manufacturers’ sales.

Data are not available for Cyprus, Luxembourg and Malta. According to the terms of the PRODCOM Regulation, these countries are exempt from reporting PRODCOM data to Eurostat and zero production is recorded for them for all products.

This map is based on the 2012 Provisional Estimates, not the most recent data available for the UK, as this is the most recent comparable data across all EU Member States.

Map 1: Percentage share of the total value of manufacturers’ product sales in the EU-27, 2012

Map showing the EU-27 countries total value of manufacturer's product sales in 2012
Source: Eurostat

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Results by industrial division

The UK estimate of manufacturers’ sales by product covers 25 ‘Divisions’ in the Manufacturing industry (see Background Note 7 for more details on coverage).

The industry divisions with the highest production sales have been reasonably consistent over the past five years. For example, Food and Motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers have consistently had the highest manufacturing product sales values during this time in the UK.

Figure 2: Contribution to growth in value of product sales since 2011, by Industrial division

Figure 2: Contribution to growth in value of product sales since 2011, by Industrial division
Source: Office for National Statistics

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Divisions driving growth in overall manufacturing product sales

The three main divisions which have driven growth in the value of product sales are the Manufacture of food products (Division 10), the Manufacture of transport equipment (Division 30) and the Manufacture of motor vehicles; trailers and semi-trailers (Division 29).

Within Division 10 there have been sizeable growths in the value of sales from meat processing, bread and pastry making and the manufacture of prepared meals. Also after two years of decline, the manufacture of sugar grew considerably, by 25%.

The growth in the value of sales for both the ship building and other floating structures industry and the manufacture of air and space craft machinery industry has been strong in the previous two years; their growth this year increased at a higher rate which has driven the growth in Division 30.

Within Division 29, the overall manufacture of motor vehicles is such a large industry that the increase in the value of sales has a considerable impact on the overall growth. Having not grown in the previous year, the manufacture of other parts for motor vehicles showed a marked increase in growth this year which added to the growth in this division.

Divisions restricting growth in overall manufacturing product sales

Not all divisions reported an increase in the values of sales, so growth in the overall manufacturing economy has been restricted by some divisions. In particular, the manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations (Division 21) and the manufacture of basic metals (Division 24) showed marked contractions.

Specifically, the manufacture of basic pharmaceutical preparations has declined considerably over the past two years. This is supported by information from the Annual Business Survey 2012, which showed declines in turnover in the pharmaceutical industry which some businesses suggested was a result of reduced exclusivity for some products which were previously patented.

The value of sales within the manufacture of basic metals industry is often volatile from year to year, and the manufacturing sales of precious metals, copper, and aluminium have all shown a noticeable decline on the previous year. The UK’s two largest aluminium smelters have closed down in recent years, which has impacted negatively on aluminium production, whilst the volatile global price of precious metals and copper is likely to have had an impact of sales in this industry.
 

Results by product

Figure 3 shows the value of sales for the 10 products with the highest sales value for 2012 and highlights the change in rankings over the past five years. There is little change in the top 10 list of products from the 2011 final estimates; of the current top 10, eight featured in the 2011 list.

Figure 3: Trend of top 10 UK manufactured products with the highest production by sales value

Figure 3: Trend of top 10 UK manufactured products with the highest production by sales value
Source: Office for National Statistics

Notes:

  1. Product relates to level 3 as specified within the PRODCOM list.
  2. Other structures and parts of structures of iron or steel was collected as two separate products prior to 2012 (Weirs, sluices, lock-gates, fixed landing stages, fixed docks and other maritime and waterway structures of iron or steel, and Iron or steel structures or parts of structures). These have been combined for 2008 to 2011 to allow a comparison over time.

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The products with the highest value of sold production in 2012 were:

  • Motor vehicles with a petrol engine (£13.2 billion);

  • Medicaments for therapeutic or prophylactic uses (some types of medicines) (£7.5 billion);

  • Parts for all types of aircrafts (£6.5 billion); and

  • Motor vehicles with a diesel engine less than 2500cc (£6 billion).

These products represented 10% of the total production value in 2012.

Motor vehicle and aircraft industries

There has been a steady increase in the production of motor cars, both petrol and smaller diesel engines (greater than 1500cc but less than 2500cc) in the UK. The trade data also reflects this increasing growth, particularly in Extra EU Exports.  An opposite trend is seen in the export of motor vehicles with larger diesel engines (greater than 2500cc), which has reduced since 2011 and moved out of the top 10 products (ranked 9 in 2011).

Despite an increase in the value of manufacturers’ sales of Parts and accessories of motor vehicle bodies it is no longer in the top 10 list of products. It has been replaced by Whisky (ranked 11 in 2011), and Repair and maintenance of civil aircraft (ranked 12 in 2011) which have moved back into the top 10 list of products.

The Department of Business Innovations and Skills article refers to recent investments to improve facilities and capability in UK aerospace companies. The Government has also announced an increase in investment and initiatives in order to maintain the UK position as one of the world leaders in the aerospace sector, as outlined in a KPMG report. This may help to explain the increase in the value of Repair and maintenance of civil aircraft from £2.9 billion in 2011 to £3.3 billion in 2012. The product is very much contract based; the sector as a whole is experiencing growth due to the escalating demand for air travel. Given that the UK is home to some of the largest manufacturers in the aerospace industry, it is likely that this demand has resulted in increased opportunities for UK businesses.
There has also been a steady increase in the sales values of Parts for all types of aircraft, for civil use as the global demand for passenger air traffic has increased, largely driven by emerging economies, such as Asia.

The steady decline in the ranking of the Manufacture, installation and repair of military aircraft and parts is due to the increased sales of other products in the motor vehicle sector. The value of sales for this product was stable for 2011 and 2012.

Drinks industry

Between 2011 and 2012 there was an 8% rise in the value of manufacturers’ sales of Whisky, which moved back into the top 10 ranking. There was an increase of 1% in the value of exports; this sees whisky exports grow in value for the eighth consecutive year, which could be explained by the increase in global demand for whisky, in particular Scotch whisky. The Scottish Whisky Association Statistical Report for 2012 also suggests an increase in stocks. Based on provisional 2012 results, the UK was the highest contributor of the total sold production value and volume of whisky, in the EU.

Beer made from malt remains in the top 10 product list, and has fluctuated around rank 6 in the list for the past five years. Between 2011 and 2012 the value of manufacturer sales dropped by 12%, and the volume of beer produced dropped by 20%. This means that the value of beer made from malt per litre actually increased. This could be explained by the increased price of malting barley (the most popular malting grain), as discussed in an agriculture report by DEFRA.

Overall the value for sales of Waters with added sugar, other sweetening matter or flavour (i.e. soft drinks) have fallen but the volumes have increased between 2011 and 2012. The product moved to sixth place ranking for 2012 after moving to seventh in 2010 and 2011. The poor summer weather in 2012 and an increase in raw material and distribution costs may have contributed to this fall in volume of production. Based on provisional 2012 results, the UK was the highest contributor of the total sold production value of soft drinks, in the EU.

Other industries

Following a sharp increase in sales value in 2009, there has been a general decrease in sales of Medicaments for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses (that is, some types of medicines). However, it remained the second highest ranking product in 2012.

The value of Other structures of iron and steel sold dropped between 2009 and 2010; this was most likely due to a fall in demand as a result of the financial crisis. However, the upturn of the automobile and construction industries lead to a quick recovery, and the value of manufacturing sales has been steadily increasing since 2011. Despite this increase, the product has moved from rank 8 in 2011 to 9 in 2012.

Background notes

  1. UK Manufacturers’ Sales by Product (PRODCOM) Survey

    In 2012, a sample of approximately 21,500 UK businesses was selected for the survey from ONS’s Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR). A total of 234 manufacturing industries are surveyed and data collected on 3,866 products. Every business is classified to a specific manufacturing industry but can span a variety of products depending on its diversity. Visit the PRODCOM webpages for more in-depth information about PRODCOM, plus the latest news on survey changes and developments.

    A PRODCOM Glossary (80.4 Kb Pdf) of terms can be used to interpret the technical descriptions and abbreviations used throughout the report.

    Data collected by the Annual Minerals Raised Inquiry (AMRI) on mineral extraction are used in the PRODCOM survey to avoid duplication and to reduce the burden on business. However due to delays in the production of 2012 survey results the AMRI data has not been included in the 2012 intermediate PRODCOM estimates. The 2012 data contained in the current release for Division 08 relates to provisional 2012 estimates as produced in June 2013. Revised estimates for Division 08 will be published separately in January 2014.

    An extensive revision of NACE in 2007 lead to a revision of the UK Standard Industrial Classification (SIC UK), bringing both of the classifications in line. This resulted in changes to PRODCOM estimates for the 2008 survey onwards. All PRODCOM industry sectors now align exactly to the NACE classification. This differs from previous years where, in some instances, the UK published PRODCOM estimates under its own SIC (SIC UK 2003) which only matched the NACE classification to the first four digits. PRODCOM reports for data pre-2008 are available on request from prodcompublications@ons.gsi.gov.uk.

    ONS will investigate the possibility of creating a back series in 2014, and any update on this investigation will be published on the PRODCOM News Page.

    Data in the accompanying reference tables are presented by manufacturing ‘Division’ divided into ‘Industries’, followed by product aggregates and then individual products. The PRODCOM list, which is set by the European Commission, contains a comprehensive breakdown of industries. The structure of the PRODCOM codes are derived from various classification systems (detailed at 2.2). An example of the hierarchy of the published data is as follows:



  2. PRODCOM quality information

    A Quality and Methodology Information Report (147.8 Kb Pdf) (QMI) can be found on the Office for National Statistics (ONS) website. The aims of the QMI report are to provide users with a greater understanding of ONS’s statistics, their quality and the methods that are used to create them.
    A report on PRODCOM EU methodology is also available from the Eurostat website. Eurostat also produce an annual PRODCOM Quality Report containing comprehensive quality information based on the latest data received from all EU members.

    The following information is available to users for each PRODCOM Commodity Code:

    • an estimate of standard error,

    • standard error as a percentage of the published value (the coefficient of variation),

    • number of businesses providing data at the product level, and

    • total employment of businesses providing data for the product.

    Standard errors are an estimate of the sampling error, which arises because an estimate is based on a survey rather than a population census. It is a measure of the precision of the estimate. A low standard error therefore indicates a precise estimate. To aid comparison and interpretation, the standard error is also expressed as a percentage of the product’s estimated total sales. This quantity is sometimes called the coefficient of variation and it allows the standard errors to be put into context.

    Standard error estimates are available for most product level value estimates. The latest data are available in the accompanying publication tables.

    In 2011 a review of the methodology for producing standard errors for PRODCOM identified that several changes needed to be made to the underlying calculation. The effect of this is that the standard errors (and coefficients of variation) are now slightly higher than they were previously for some of the product headings. It is therefore important to note that any increases to the quality measures (contained within the accompanying tables) compared with previous years quality measures do not necessarily represent a decrease in the quality of the estimates. It should also be noted that standard errors prior to 2009 have not been recalculated.
     

  3. Uses of the data

    The European Commission and national governments need data to monitor industry and markets and to develop their corresponding policies. To meet these requirements, Eurostat and Member States have developed the PRODCOM system and disseminate data which allows international comparisons between all Member States and other countries. The enterprises benefit from data provided by the PRODCOM system which allow them to evaluate markets and opportunities for development.

    By combining PRODCOM with overseas trade data, users can derive various other statistics. For example: the trade balance, the UK net supply to the market and unit prices for production, imports and exports; all at the product level.

    A summary of the users and uses of PRODCOM Statistics is given in the User Engagement for the PRODCOM Survey. Some of the known users of PRODCOM statistics are:

    • the European Commission, 

    • the national governments and their national authorities (i.e. public institutions, central and local administrations),

    • businesses and trade associations,

    • the research institutions and students, and

    • the media.

    There are numerous other users who use the data to produce various analyses and to inform policy decisions. Some specific examples are provided below.

    EU anti-dumping cases: EU PRODCOM survey data are regularly used in matters relating to EU anti-dumping cases providing vital product information for scrutiny during formal investigations.

    Environmental statistics: Increasingly the data are used in analysis relating to environmental statistics such as ONS’ review of measuring the environmental goods and services sector (107.2 Kb Pdf) which utilises PRODCOM data in an aim to identifying potential ‘green’ products.

    UK National Accounts: PRODCOM outputs are required as part of the National Accounts Supply Table, an integral part of the annual Supply and Use Tables balancing process which is used to reconcile the three approaches to measuring Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Gross National Income (GNI).

    Producer Prices: The PRODCOM Survey data identifies businesses that make particular products, and therefore are used to create a sampling frame for the ONS Producer Prices Index.


  4. User engagement

    We are constantly aiming to improve this release and its associated commentary. We would welcome any feedback you might have, and would be particularly interested in knowing how you make use of these data to inform your work. Please contact us via email: prodcompublications@ons.gsi.gov.uk or telephone Hannah Finselbach on +44 (0)1633 456746.

    A summary of the users and uses of PRODCOM Statistics is given in the User Engagement for the PRODCOM Survey report (64.6 Kb Pdf) . The document describes how we have acted upon user feedback, and outlines our plans for user engagement over the next year.

    The Changing Shape of Trade and Investment in the UK, an event coordinated jointly with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), took place in September 2013. The event featured a range of talks from users, producers and suppliers of business trade and investment statistics, not just from central government and the devolved administrations, but also local government, media, business representatives and researchers. To view the content of the day, please visit Storify.

  5. Revisions

    Provisional survey estimates are published six months after the end of the reference period; intermediate estimates 12 months after the end of the reference period and a final set of estimates 24 months after the reference period.

    The below tables outline the extent of the revisions, for the total value of manufacturing sales from UK based companies, for the last three years of data:

    Table 1: Values at each publication date

    £ billion
    Publication Date Reference year
      2010 2011 2012
    Jun - 2011 323.9 - -
    Dec - 2011 329.4 - -
    Jun - 2012 329.4 339.7 -
    Dec - 2012 322.3 338.0 -
    Jun - 2013 322.3 338.0 342.2
    Dec - 2013 322.3 338.1 341.7

    Table source: Office for National Statistics

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    Table 2: Percentage difference since previous publication

    %
    Publication Date Reference year
      2010 2011 2012
    Jun - 2011 - - -
    Dec - 2011 1.7 - -
    Jun - 2012 0.0 - -
    Dec - 2012 -2.2 -0.5 -
    Jun - 2013 0.0 0.0 -
    Dec - 2013 0.0 0.0 -0.1
           

    Table source: Office for National Statistics

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    PRODCOM estimates are revised in line with the ONS’s Revisions Policy. Users of this release are advised to read this policy before using the data for research or policy related purposes.

    Planned revisions usually arise from either the receipt of additional data or the correction of errors to existing data by businesses responding to the PRODCOM survey. Those of notable magnitude will be highlighted and explained.

    All other revisions will be regarded as unplanned and will be dealt with by non-standard releases. All revisions will be released in compliance with the same principles as other new information.

  6. Response rates

    These intermediate estimates are based on a response rate of 83.5%. Late and revised returns are included in the intermediate and final estimates.

    Table 3: Overall response rates

    %
    Period (Estimate) Forms
       
    2012 (intermediate) 83.5
    2011 (final) 83.4
    2010 (final) 82.1
       

    Table source: Office for National Statistics

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  7. General information

    The PRODCOM list is updated annually to allow for the addition and deletion of products as the market evolves; clarification of product definitions and corrections where identified.

    Product information is collected from the following Manufacturing Divisions:

    Table 4: Industry coverage

    Division   Title
    8 Other mining and quarrying
    10 Food products
    11 Beverages
    12 Tobacco products
    13 Textiles
    14 Wearing Apparel
    15 Leather and related products
    16 Wood and of products of wood and cork (except furniture); articles of straw and plaiting materials
    17 Paper and paper products
    18 Printing and reproduction of recorded media
    19 Coke and refined petroleum products
    20 Chemicals and chemical products
    21 Basic pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations
    22 Rubber and plastic products
    23 Other non-metallic mineral products
    24 Basic metals
    25 Fabricated metal products (except machinery and equipment)
    26 Computer, electronic and optical equipment
    27 Electrical equipment
    28 Machinery and equipment, not elsewhere classified
    29 Motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers
    30 Other transport equipment
    31 Furniture
    32 Other manufacturing
    33 Repair and installation of machinery and equipment
       

    Table source: Office for National Statistics

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    Industry classification 2410, 2432 and 2433 are collected by the Iron and Steel Statistics Bureau (ISSB). The data are supplied to Eurostat, but are marked as confidential and not published. They are not included in the overall UK manufacturers’ product sales figures.

    Data for Division 58 - Publishing is collected but not published as part of this bulletin. These data are not a requirement of the EU and are collected to ensure complete coverage of products in (and therefore the quality of estimates in) Division 18 – Printing. Data for Division 58 is available on request from prodcompublications@ons.gsi.gov.uk.

    Intra and Extra EU Import and Export data are supplied by HMRC to measure the flow of goods into and out of the UK. These data are also used as part of the UK’s Balance of Payment Account to gauge the health of the UK. Users should note that the coding frames used for HMRC trade data and PRODCOM are different, as noted as part of Background Note 8. An alternative source of data can be derived from the UK National Accounts Supply/Use Tables.
     

  8. Data strengths and limitations

    The UK Manufacturers’ Sales by Product (PRODCOM) provides a comprehensive picture of industrial production in the UK. The reference tables associated with this release provide estimates of value, volume, and unit values (value per unit of volume) for each product group, where possible. Alongside the estimates of PRODCOM sales, estimates of Intra and Extra EU Imports and Exports are also reported. These data are collected by HMRC, and are matched with the PRODCOM codes and included within the PRODCOM tables for the benefit of demonstrating the UK trade balance, and UK Net Supply (UK manufacturers’ sales + imports - exports) by product.

    However, it is important that users are aware of the limitations of these data. The HMRC data are collected using the Combined Nomenclature (CN), a different coding frame to PRODCOM. The PRODCOM Quality and Methods (147.8 Kb Pdf) (QMI) Report provides a diagram (on page 3) to shows the links between the PRODCOM list and the CN, which then links up to the Harmonised System (HS) codes at a world-wide level.  More details on the inconsistencies between PRODCOM and the International Trade Statistics are given in the QMI report.

    For some products, the PRODCOM and Trade Data collect different units of volume (for example number of items and kilograms). Both units of volumes are displayed in the product table. In these cases the volumes and unit values (for example £ per Item/kilogram) are not comparable.

    Inconsistencies with other statistics collecting information on similar topics are highlighted in the PRODCOM QMI report. For example, PRODCOM focuses on products, and the Annual Business Survey (ABS) focuses on activities. The total value of production for business in an industry may be different to the turnover reported by ABS for the same industry group. Enterprises may carry out other activities besides production that contribute to its turnover.

    This release contains data from 2008 to 2012. Responses from the user survey questionnaire indicate that for some users, a longer time series based on a consistent Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) would be useful. Prior to 2008, data were published classified by SIC 2003. Since that time, the classification used has been SIC 2007, and creating a back series based on SIC 2007 is not currently possible. All estimates of the value of sales are presented at current prices, meaning that they have not been adjusted for inflation; this is important to bear in mind when comparing value changes over time.

  9. Definitions of symbols used

    The sum of constituent items in tables may not always agree exactly with the totals shown due to rounding.
    The following symbols are used in the accompanying tables:

    S      Suppressed as disclosive.

    S*    Suppressed as disclosive but included in the aggregated for UK Manufacturer Sales of “Other” products aggregated for UK in the Sales    and Turnover table.

    N/A   Data not available.

    *      Not able to provide data due to secondary disclosure, different units of measurement or other technical issues.

    E      Data has low response, and therefore a high level of estimation, which may impact on the quality of the estimate

  10. Disclosure

    The ONS is required to maximise the access to data, while safeguarding the confidentiality of the individual business data. We are bound by the Statistics and Registration Services Act 2007 and the National Statistics Code of Practice to ensure data is kept confidential.

    An initial review of the disclosure control method used by PRODCOM confirmed that it is in line with the Government Statistical Service (GSS) Disclosure Control Policy. Unfortunately, the detailed level of our estimates often leads to PRODCOM estimates being suppressed. This is because there are either a small number of producers, or there is a dominant producer and the risk of disclosing the sales figures for an individual business is high.

    There is already a process in place to write to businesses and ask permission to publish PRODCOM estimates where there is a risk that their data is disclosed. ONS plan to carry out a further review of the disclosure control methods for PRODCOM. This will determine if PRODCOM estimates are over-suppressed and identify any methods that may be more suitable, to improve the utility of the estimates.

  11. National Statistics

    In July 2012 the UK Statistics Authority assessed the PRODCOM survey against the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. An assessment report was made available on the UK Statistics Authority website. This report recommended that the PRODCOM estimates be designated as National Statistics, subject to ONS carrying out certain requirements. ONS has made a number of improvements to meet the requirements set out in this assessment report, and will provide evidence to the UK Statistics Authority in January 2014 to show that we have implemented these enhancements.

    Designation can be broadly interpreted to mean that the statistics:

    • meet identified user needs;

    • are well explained and readily accessible;

    • are produced according to sound methods, and

    • are managed impartially and objectively in the public interest.

    Once statistics have been designated as National Statistics it is a statutory requirement that the Code of Practice shall continue to be observed.

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    To find out about other official business statistics, and choose the right data for your needs, use the GSS Business Statistics Interactive User Guide. By selecting your topics of interest, the tool will pinpoint publications that should be of interest to you, and provide you with links to more detailed information and the relevant statistical releases. It also offers guidance on which statistics are appropriate for different uses.

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    There is a Business and Trade Statistics community on the StatsUserNet website. StatsUserNet is the Royal Statistical Society’s interactive site for users of official statistics. The community objectives are to promote dialogue and share information between users and producers of official business and trade statistics about the structure, content and performance of businesses within the UK. Anyone can join the discussions by registering via either of the links above.

  15. Special events

    ONS has published commentary, analysis and policy on 'Special Events' which may affect statistical outputs. For full details visit the Special Events page on the ONS website.

    Release policy

  16. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

    These National Statistics are produced to high professional standards and released according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

Statistical contacts

Name Phone Department Email
Hannah Finselbach +44 (0)1633 456746 Business Outputs and Developments Division prodcompublications@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Get all the tables for this publication in the data section of this publication .
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