Scottish Annual Business Statistics 2021

Data relating to the Production (including Manufacturing), Construction and Service Sectors in Scotland.

This document is part of a collection


The Scottish Annual Business Statistics (SABS) data are sourced from the Annual Business Survey (ABS) conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). It is important to note that overall growth rates associated with the ABS are not comparable to the official growth rates for the whole economy given that significant sectors of the economy are not included in the ABS and the results have not been balanced with other datasets. 

The estimate of approximate Gross Value Added at basic prices (aGVA) represents the income (Turnover) of businesses, less the cost of goods and services consumed in the production process (Purchases). Data are in current prices (i.e. values have not been adjusted for inflation).

SABS measures the non-financial business economy. The industry sectors not covered in SABS are the financial sector and parts of the agriculture and public sector. The SABS statistics are best suited to the analysis of industry sectors rather than the economy as a whole. Industry sectors are defined according to the UK Standard Industrial Classification 2007 (SIC07)


Within SABS 2021 the latest results for 2021 are provisional and will be made final when they are re-published within SABS 2022 - at which point they may be revised due to late returns. The results for 2020, within SABS 2021, have been revised and are now final.

ABS Sample Design

The ABS sample is as a stratified random sample of UK businesses from the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR). The survey population or universe is stratified by industry, employment and country using the information from the IDBR. The sample selects all the largest businesses with a reducing fraction of smaller businesses. This method ensures the sample size is kept to a minimum. The ABS returns are grossed up to the register population, so that the estimates relate to all active businesses on the IDBR for the sectors covered.

Usually, the data for Scotland is based on ABS returns from around 8,000 businesses. However, the returns for 2019 and 2020 were lower at approximately 6,000 returns – this was because the COVID-19 pandemic made it more difficult to contact respondents in order to process survey returns. This means that the 2019 and 2020 estimates in this release are subject to more uncertainty than usual. The ABS returns were around 7,600 businesses in 2021.

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland

The United Kingdom Statistics Authority has designated these statistics as National Statistics, in accordance with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007. This provides assurance that these statistics are of the highest quality and meet user needs, and that they comply with the Code of Practice for Statistics.

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Further information on National Statistics is published by the UK Statistics Authority.


For enquiries about this publication please contact:

Marina Curran

Business & Innovation Statistics

Office of the Chief Economic Adviser


For general enquiries about Scottish Government statistics please contact:

Office of the Chief Statistician


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