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Grossing and Estimation Methods

Sample Data

The data collected in the Global Connections Survey (GCS) was supplemented by information from the ONS UK Monthly Business Survey (Production and Services), the ONS Monthly Business Survey Retail Sales Inquiry, the ONS Annual International Trade in Services and the ONS Annual Business Survey. Partial information was also obtained directly from some major companies that did not return forms.

Population

The population data set is based on The Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR). The survey data is grossed up to IDBR data based on company turnover. This has been done at reporting unit level, i.e. based on the sum of activity of all Scottish local units. Companies have been classified to an industry based on the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) of the local unit with the most employees. With the exception of 'Distilling, rectifying and blending of spirits' [SIC (2007) 11.01] and 'Marine fishing' [SIC (2007) 3.11] (for which alternative data sources are used - see below) export estimates are constrained to IDBR turnover.

Grossing Procedures

Firstly, total exports for each company are estimated using a process of iterative stratification based on combinations of the following factors:

  • employment size-band,
  • SIC,
  • enterprise region and
  • export status (as used in sampling frame).

Initially companies are classified at the most detailed level of each of these factors. For any group containing 10 or more companies in the sample, the ratio of exports to turnover is calculated and applied to companies in the population with the same properties.

The process then involves collapsing categories (firstly employment is collapsed from 6 bands into 5, then at the next iteration SIC codes are collapsed from 5-digit to 4-digit); and at each stage the proportions of goods and services exported for each company in the population based is estimated on the sample data for companies in that particular group. At the final stage, all remaining companies are classified by 2-digit SIC codes.

Categories used at each iteration
Iteration Employment size-bands SIC Enterprise region Export status (see note)
1 0-9, 10-19, 20-49, 50-99, 100-249, 250+ 5-digit Local Enterpise Company 0, 1
2 0-9, 10-19, 20-49, 50-99, 100-249, 250+ 5-digit Highlands and Islands/Scottish Enterprise 0, 1
3 0-9, 10-19, 20-49, 50-99, 100-249, 250+ 5-digit All 0, 1
4 0-9, 10-49, 50-99, 100-249, 250+ 5-digit Local Enterpise Company 0, 1
5 0-9, 10-49, 50-99, 100-249, 250+ 5-digit Highlands and Islands/Scottish Enterprise 0, 1
6 0-9, 10-49, 50-99, 100-249, 250+ 5-digit All 0, 1
7 0-9, 10-49, 50-99, 100-249, 250+ 4-digit Local Enterpise Company 0, 1
8 0-9, 10-49, 50-99, 100-249, 250+ 4-digit Highlands and Islands/Scottish Enterprise 0, 1
9 0-9, 10-49, 50-99, 100-249, 250+ 4-digit All 0, 1
10 0-9, 10-49, 50-149, 150+ 4-digit Local Enterpise Company 0, 1
11 0-9, 10-49, 50-149, 150+ 4-digit Highlands and Islands/Scottish Enterprise 0, 1
12 0-9, 10-49, 50-149, 150+ 4-digit All 0, 1
13 0-9, 10-49, 50-149, 150+ 3-digit Local Enterpise Company 0, 1
14 0-9, 10-49, 50-149, 150+ 3-digit Highlands and Islands/Scottish Enterprise 0, 1
15 0-9, 10-49, 50-149, 150+ 3-digit All 0, 1
16 0-49, 50-149, 150+ 3-digit Local Enterpise Company 0, 1
17 0-49, 50-149, 150+ 3-digit Highlands and Islands/Scottish Enterprise 0, 1
18 0-49, 50-149, 150+ 3-digit All 0, 1
19 0-49, 50+ 3-digit Local Enterpise Company 0, 1
20 0-49, 50+ 3-digit Highlands and Islands/Scottish Enterprise 0, 1
21 0-49, 50+ 3-digit All 0, 1
22 0-49, 50+ 2-digit Local Enterpise Company 0, 1
23 0-49, 50+ 2-digit Highlands and Islands/Scottish Enterprise 0, 1
24 0-49, 50+ 2-digit All 0, 1
25 All 2-digit All All

Note: in the table above, an export status of 0 indicates that the company is a non-exporter or their export status is unknown. An export status of 1 indicates that the company is a known or potential exporter.

A similar process is then followed to split total exports into EU/non-EU exports. The proportion of total exports to each area for each company is estimated and applied to total exports. This procedure is based only on employment size-band and SIC for only exporting companies and takes nine iterations.

Sample proportions are then applied to the estimated EU total to estimate amounts for individual countries. This analysis is stratified by industry and employment - firstly 5-digit SIC and small/large companies, going down to 2-digit SIC only. The non-EU totals are firstly split into regional totals using a similar methodology, before these are apportioned to country of destination based on the sample data.

Adjustments

Whisky [SIC (2007) 11.01]

Information on international whisky exports (nominal value and export destination region/country) is taken from HMRC Overseas Trade Statistics.

Fishing [SIC (2007) 3.11]

Information on international and rest of UK fishing (direct lands of fish abroad) exports is provided by Marine Scotland's Marine Analytical Unit: www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Agriculture-Fisheries/PubFisheries.

Higher Education [SIC (2007) 85.4]

Estimates of turnover and international/rest of UK higher education exports are sourced from Higher Education Institution annual reports. Student numbers by Higher Education Institute and domicile for the academic years 2008/09 to 2013/14 are provided by the Higher Education Statistics Authority. This data is used to determine the proportions of international exports to the EU and the rest of the World.

Banking [SIC (2007) 64.191]

For 2011 to 2014 the information is based on a Scottish Government collection of total sales and sales to non-UK resident customers for the four largest organisations in this sector.

Information on exports for the banking sector prior to 2011 were based on export sales information provided by The Committee of Scottish Clearing Bankers (CSCB), now The Committee of Scottish Bankers.  The Committee of Scottish Clearing Bankers also provided a split of international and rest of UK sales.

Energy [SIC (2007) 35]

Information on rest of UK energy export proportions is obtained from the Department of Energy & Climate Change:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/energy-trends-december-2015-special-feature-article-electricity-generation-and-supply-figures-for-scotland-wales-northern-ireland-and-england-2.

Revisions

Estimates for previous years are revised from those published in the previous year and are largely due to new information being provided by companies. The most recent results are provisional, and may be revised in the future if improved information becomes available.

Further Information

For more background on the issues involved in estimating exports figures for Scotland, please see the article from the 2005 Scottish Economic Statistics publication at www.scotland.gov.uk/publications/2005/11/2485808/58104.