Aim of this survey

The Quarterly Stocks Survey collects quarterly information on the value of stock held by businesses in the UK within the mining and quarrying, manufacturing and repair, energy, construction, motor trades, wholesale and retail industries.

Your response is used by National Accounts to calculate the change in inventories, which are published in the quarterly GDP releases and Blue Book.

What you need to know

To complete the survey, you will need the following information:

  • value of stock held by the business at the start of the period

  • value of stock held by the business at the end of the period

All information you provide is strictly confidential.

Survey information

Selection criteria: UK trading businesses registered for VAT and/or PAYE
Population: approximately 855,000
Sample: approximately 9,500
Frequency: quarterly

Dispatch dates

Quarter 1: 15 to 17 March
Quarter 2: 14 to 19 June
Quarter 3: 13 to 18 September
Quarter 4: 13 to 18 December

Return-by dates

Quarter 1: 5 April
Quarter 2: 5 July
Quarter 3: 6 October
Quarter 4: 8 January

Dispatch and return-by dates are a guide. They are subject to change due to national holidays and weekends.

Why you were selected

Your business has been selected from a directory of businesses in the UK which are registered for VAT and/or PAYE or with Companies House. Your response ensures we represent your industry.

The Quarterly Stocks Survey is conducted under the provisions of the Statistics of Trade Act 1947. Once selected, your business is legally obliged to comply. You cannot appeal your selection.

Why you have received this survey

We survey businesses of all sizes to ensure our statistics are representative of the UK economy. We select large businesses (those with 100 plus employees) for any relevant ONS business surveys because their information is so significant.

We select some small and medium businesses, usually for a set period of time, then replace them with other businesses from their industry. They are very important to us as their trading patterns are often very different to large businesses.

How to complete this survey

Your letter explains how to submit your data using our online collection system. Please use your unique enrolment code to report your information.

Complete this survey online

If you need help

If your questions are not answered on this page, you may be able to find the answers in the About ONS business surveys section.

You can call us on 0300 1234 931. Please enter the three digit survey ID 017.

If you would like to use our Minicom service for the Deaf, call 01633 815044.

Er mwyn gwneud cais am ffurflen Gymraeg (to speak to someone in Welsh): 0300 1234 921.