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Scottish Index Of Manufactured Exports for Quarter 2 2011


Definitions and Release Policy

1. The Index of Manufactured Exports (IME) is a measure of quarterly export sales by manufacturing companies located in Scotland.

2. Estimates for most manufacturing sectors are based on sales figures reported to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in the Monthly Business Survey. Other data sources include the Department for Energy and Climate Change (for refined petroleum products) and the Scottish Government's Global Connections Survey. Data are currently received from around 780 manufacturing companies in Scotland each quarter.

3. Export sales are defined as direct sales to the rest of the world (ROW), and do not include sales of goods or components which are exported further down the supply chain. IME does not measure exports to the rest of the UK (RUK).

4. The published results are presented in constant prices, meaning that they have been adjusted for inflation to represent changes in the volume of sales rather than value. This provides a measure of growth in real terms.

5. The IME estimates are based on the manufacturing sector as defined by the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) 2003. There will be a change to the revised SIC 2007 in line with other Scottish Government statistics, expected following the reclassification of UK National Accounts in late 2011.

6. This publication includes data available to 30th September 2011.

7. The next publication of IME, covering the third quarter of 2011, is planned for Wednesday 18th January 2012.


8. Results in this statistical bulletin incorporate revisions to previously published estimates. Tables 3 and 4 identify the extent of revisions since the last publication in July. Revisions to the level of index numbers (not growth rates) are shown to the nearest whole value. In this release the period open for revision is from 2011 Q1 only.

9. The latest estimate for the growth of total manufactured exports in 2011 Q1 has been revised from +3.9% to +3.8%. This follows revisions to several industry sectors due to updates to source data and associated seasonal adjustment factors.

10. The Scottish Government's revisions policy for economic statistics is available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Economy/ScotStat/revisionspolicy

11. An information paper discussing the reliability and accuracy of the Index of Manufactured Exports, and providing analysis of revisions in recent years, has been published on the Scottish Government website at the following location: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Economy/papers/IMERevisions2011

12. The chart below shows a comparison of the overall index this quarter and the index published in July 2011.


Methodology Notes

13. The annual Global Connections Survey (GCS) provides a current price estimate, in monetary terms, of the value of exports sales across the entire Scottish economy. The latest figures show that exports from the manufacturing sector accounted for £13.2 billion in 2009 - 63 per cent of all exports from Scotland to the rest of the world.

14. The Global Connections Survey is also the only source for estimates of exports from Scotland to the rest of the UK. Further information can be found on Scottish Government website at: www.scotland.gov.uk/exports

Methodology Developments

15. The methodology developments previously announced for this publication of IME have been postponed to allow further quality assurance of results. The improvements currently under development are:

  • Updated stratification of companies (by industrial classification and employment level) for the purposes of grossing up business survey results. This will bring IME results closer in line with the manufacturing results in the quarterly GDP statistics.
  • Cross referencing results with the latest Global Connections Survey and Input-Output tables for Scotland. This will improve the estimates of Scottish-based activity for companies who report on operations across the UK, and improve the consistency of results from difference sources within the Scottish Government.
  • The Index of Manufactured Exports will begin to be classified and estimated using SIC 2007 in line with quarterly Gross Domestic Product statistics for Scotland. The main impact on IME will be the removal of publishing, nuclear fuel processing and recycling from the manufacturing sector.

National Statistics

16. National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the National Statistics Code of Practice. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference.

17. Results are available to download from the Scottish Government website at: www.scotland.gov.uk/exports

Issued by:

Office of the Chief Economic Adviser
Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road


Communications Office: 0131-244-4044

Assistant Statistician: John Dowens 0131-244-3269