Scottish Annual Business Statistics (SABS) provides data mainly on the Production (including Manufacturing), Construction and Service Sectors in Scotland. The Tables (see 'Supporting Files') include information on businesses' employment, turnover, purchases, approximate gross value added and labour costs. Data are classified according to industry group, geographical area and ownership. All figures are at current prices unless otherwise stated.
Scottish Annual Business Statistics (SABS) is based on data from the UK Annual Business Survey (ABS), formerly the Annual Business Inquiry (ABI), conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Since 1998, the Scottish Government has funded an enhanced ABS sample in Scotland, to improve the quality of Scottish figures. In 2017, around 2,600 extra firms in Scotland were sampled as a result of this "boost", giving a total sample size in Scotland of around 8,200 firms
The statistics have been produced under partnership procedures agreed between ONS and the Scottish Government (SG). These have resulted in an improvement in the quality of the underlying data and consistency in the figures used by ONS and SG.
For more information on the methodology used to compile regional ABS statistics, please look under Regional Estimation in the Methodology.
The Scottish Annual Business Statistics (SABS) publication is used to obtain information (predominantly GVA and turnover estimates) about particular sectors of the economy both at national and local authority level to inform decision making, analyse trends and in performance monitoring. Users also combine the Scottish Annual Business Statistics data with other sources in their own models. Some uses of the SABS data are as follows:
A range of statistics from the SABS publication broken down by industry sector are used to monitor change within the growth sectors (covering Food & Drink, Creative Industries, Sustainable Tourism, Energy, Financial & Business Services and Life Sciences) of the Scottish economy.
Scotland's Marine Economy (sectors that depend on the marine environment). Sectoral data for this topic is mainly derived from SABS.
Scottish Enterprise statistics includes GVA from SABS.
Falkirk Council provides a range of statistics including GVA & Turnover from SABS for Falkirk Local Authority area at:
Published data are available at Local Authority area and Scotland level.
The ABS, from which the statistics are derived, covers the "non-financial business economy" and accounts for approximately two thirds of the economy.
The main sectors not covered are the financial sector & parts of agriculture and parts of the public sector. These statistics are therefore best suited to the analysis of individual industries rather than the economy as a whole.
For more information on sectors covered, please look under Coverage in the Methodology.
SABS is a National Statistics publication. National Statistics status means that our statistics meet the highest standards of trustworthiness, quality and public value, and it is our responsibility to maintain compliance with these standards.
These statistics last underwent a full assessment against the Code of Practice in 2012. Details of the assessment are available here: Assessment Report 189 - Statistics on Scottish Businesses and Research and Development
Since the last assessment, we have continued to comply with the Code of Practice for Statistics and have made improvements to the statistical release - for example by:
- Providing more detailed breakdowns e.g. Purchases, Growth Sectors;
- Improving the timeliness of the release;
- Providing more information on the quality of the estimates e.g. Standard Errors;
- Improving accessibility e.g. Local Authority Area tables available in multiple formats.
Breakdowns of the published data include:
- by Local Authority area
- by Industrial Sector
- by Ownership
Both national level and local authority area level data tables are available as supported files.
Timeliness of Data
The data are published annually based on a sample survey carried out by the Office for National Statistics.
It is the aim to publish Scottish Annual Business Statistics as soon as possible after the release of the Office for National Statistics' regional results. This means SABS figures are available approximately 18 months after the end of the calendar year to which they relate.
Data are compiled from an annual survey. Please note that when a new year's Annual Business Survey data are released, the previous year's data are revised at the same time.
For information on Quality Measures, pleasesee the publication and supported files.
The Scottish Annual Business Statistics publication contains data for 2008 onwards published on a SIC 2007 basis only.
SIC 2003 tables with revised 2008 data can be found under Publication and Tables Archive link on SABS website. This is the final set of tables published using SIC 2003 codes, which cover 1998-2008 data, as the Office for National Statistics are now only updating company information on a SIC 2007 basis.
Please note that the ABS survey for reference year 2007 was on a Standard Industrial Classification 2003 (SIC 2003) basis. Reference year 2008 onwards has moved to Standard Industrial Classification 2007 (SIC 2007).
The coverage of the ONS Standard Business Survey Population was expanded in 2016 to include a population of solely Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) based businesses. These businesses were included for the first time in the population for the Annual Business Survey (ABS) 2016. For more background and experimental results for 2015-16, please go to the Methodology (see heading Additional Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) Units). Please note that calculations were carried out on (final) 2015 and (provisional) 2016 data. The 2016 data has since been revised in SABS 2017 published in June 2019.
Statistical Disclosure Control
Statistical disclosure control is applied to tables in order to maintain the confidentiality of the data. Values associated with local unit and enterprise group counts below a minimum threshold are suppressed. Additionally, a dominance rule identifies and suppresses any cells where a small number of enterprise groups account for the majority of the associated value of the cell. Additional cells are also suppressed to avoid disclosure by deduction.
If you have any enquiries relating to business and innovation statistics then please contact us at:
0131 244 6802
Business and Innovation Statistics
Office of the Chief Economic Adviser
5 Atlantic Quay
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