Overview:

  • collects data on the level of stocks at the beginning and end of each period
  • questionnaires sent to 5,500 businesses each quarter
  • industries included in the survey are mining and quarrying, manufacturing, energy, construction, motor trades, wholesale and retail
  • the sample size has changed over the years ranging from 21,500 to 5,500

The Quarterly Stocks Inquiry (QSI) collects data on the level of stocks at the beginning and end of each period, with an asset breakdown of these totals requested for certain sectors.

Stocks are described as being a company’s merchandise, raw materials and finished and unfinished products, which have not yet been sold. For the purposes of this survey, assets generally used are: materials, stores and fuel; work in progress and goods on hand for sale.

Questionnaires are sent to 5,500 businesses each quarter. All businesses with employment of 300 people or more are included permanently; smaller businesses are sampled on a random basis (using the Inter-departmental Business Register (IDBR) as the sampling frame).

We, the Office for National Statistics, are the main users of these data; we use them to provide estimates for use in the compilation of GDP and National Accounts. HM Treasury (HMT), the Bank of England and the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) also use the results for forecasting, analytical and briefing work.

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