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Short Term Statistics, Business Statistics
Kari AJ Arildsen
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Retail Trade Index

Retail trade indices are published for 42 industries and for three commodity groups: food and other everyday commodities, clothing etc., and other commodities. Value and volume indices are produced. The volume index is made for the commodity groups and special industry aggregates for Eurostat. The statistics are based on survey data from all large retail trade enterprises and a sample of the remaining retail trade enterprises, which are requested to submit information about their turnover each month. Seasonal adjustment is performed of the three main commodity groups and the total.

Data description

The value indices show the development of the turnover in current prices. The volume index is calculated indirectly by dividing the value index with a corresponding price index. In addition, the three main commodity groups are seasonally adjusted as well as the total. This includes adjustment for the effects of moving holidays (Easter), number of working days and trading days. Eurostat also receives seasonally adjusted data as well as data adjusted for working day and trading day effects only.

Classification system

The industry coding follows the Danish industrial classifications, Dansk Branchekode 2007 (DB07), which is the national version of NACE rev. 2. A complete overview can be found at the DB07 site.

An overview of the retail trade industries covered can be found in the industry appendix.

For some smaller retail trade industries, no figures are published, either due to confidentiality issues or because of a potential lack of accuracy. The turnover of these industries, however, is included in the aggregated figures.

The main commodity groups used for national publications are as follows:

Food and other convenience goods cover all turnovers at grocery stores and specialised food stores, as well as the sales of these commodities at supermarkets, discount stores and department stores. In addition to this, the non-fuel sales at service stations are included in this group.

Clothing etc. covers all turnover in stores specialised in clothing and footwear, as well as the sales of these commodities at supermarkets, discount stores and department stores.

Other consumer goods cover primarily the turnover in shops selling furnishings, electronics leisure equipment, as well as DIY centres and pharmacies. It also includes the sales of these commodities at supermarkets, discount stores and department stores. In addition to this, the fuel sales at service stations are included in this group.

A detailed overview of the relations between industries and commodity groups can be found in the appendix industry groupings.

You will find a detailed overview of the grouping of commodities in the appendix commodity groupings (only in Danish).

Sector coverage

The retail trade sector.

Statistical concepts and definitions

Retail Trade: Sales of commodities to private individuals.

Retail Trade Enterprise: Enterprise mainly engaged in distributive sales of commodities to private individuals, here excluding sales of motorised vehicles.

Food and Other Everyday Commodities: Convenience goods are consumer goods that are consumed relatively quickly by a consumer and that cease to exist when consumed. Convenience goods are primarily foods and products for personal hygiene, but also tobacco.

Clothing etc.: Clothes, footwear and leather goods, incl. baby clothes and baby things.

Other Consumer Goods: Commodities not categorized as convenience goods or clothing etc. E.g. household appliances, leisure goods, medicine and fuel.

Statistical unit

The units of the retail trade index are enterprises, each enterprise being a legal unit. In the Statistical Business Register of Statistics Denmark, legal units are identified by their CVR-numbers, i.e. their numbers in the Central Business Register.

In isolated cases, a unit can be different from an enterprise. It could be an enterprise with shops having significant turnover within several retail trade industries, in which case the enterprise can be accordingly divided in several statistical units. The reverse example also exists, where more enterprises within the same industry are merged to one statistical unit, e.g. if they have a common administration that would in any case report for all the enterprises in question.

Statistical population

The statistics covers the population consisting of all enterprises with main activity, or in a few rare cases secondary activity within retail trade, with the exception of retail trade of motor vehicles. Furthermore, bakeries with their own production are also included in the population. Enterprises with annual turnover below 2.5 mill. DKK (1.0 mill. DKK for some industries) are usually disregarded. The population consists altogether of approximately 6,500 enterprises.

Reference area

The statistics cover retail trade in Denmark by Danish retail trade enterprises, excluding Greenland and Faroe Islands. Foreign enterprises with retail trade with Danish consumers (e.g. near-border enterprises or foreign internet shops) are not included in the statistics.

Time coverage

The statistics cover the period from 2000 and forward. Older time series are described under Comparability over time.

Base period

The base year for the Retail Trade Index is 2015=100.

Unit of measure

The unit of measure is index points. Value indices as well as volume indices are published. Read more about indices in this publication (only in Danish).

Reference period

The reference period for the monthly figures is the entire month. The enterprises thus report the turnover of the entire month. A few enterprises have 4- or 5-weeks accounting periods and many normally only make up their accounts on a quarterly basis, which can cause the monthly turnover reports to be somewhat inaccurate. This, however, is not assessed as a significant quality issue.

The population used for estimation usually has a reference time that is the previous year. This does not significantly affect the calculations of the monthly growth rates, due to the use of month-on-month linking where the actual and the previous month turnover is always estimated using the same population.

Frequency of dissemination

These statistics are published monthly.

Legal acts and other agreements

The legal authority to collect data is provided by the Act on Statistics Denmark, section 8, as subsequently amended (most recently by Act no. 610 of 30th May, 2018).

These statistics are covered by Council Regulation (EC) No 1165/98 of 19 May 1998 concerning short-term statistics, and Regulation (EC) No 1893/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006.

Cost and burden

The workload on the respondents is estimated at 2.8 full-time equivalents.


Further information can be found at the subject-page for the Retail Trade Index or by contacting Statistics Denmark directly.