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Statistics Denmark, Short Term Statistics
Simon B. Halifax
+45 39 17 30 88

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Services Survey

Monthly business survey data is collected from a sample of approximately 2950 service enterprises. Data is reported either online at or in paper questionnaire, and consists of qualitative information about changes in net sales, employment, inventories, prices, etc., which are not validated. The collected data are enumerated from the sample to the total population weighted by employment data, and distributed at industry and size groupings. If seasonal variation patterns are detected for the indicators that constitute the composite confidence indicator, data is adjusted for this.

Source data

The statistics are compiled from data collected via questionnaires. The sample is based on information in the Central Business Register.

The survey is carried out with a panel based stratified sample consisting initially of 2950 enterprises representing about 61 pct. of the total number of full-time employees in selected trades. Because of drop-out the sample is updated one or two times a year. Typically the sample is added 350-400 new enterprises at update.

The sample is stratified into trade groupings and size groups in terms of full time employees.

The trade strata are defined by (NACE rev.2 classification system figures in brackets):

  • Land transport and transport via pipelines (49)
  • Water transport (50)
  • Air transport (51)
  • Warehousing and support activities for transportation (52)
  • Postal and courier activities (53)
  • Accommodation (55)
  • Food and beverage service activities (56)
  • Publishing activities (58)
  • Telecommunications (61)
  • Computer programming, consultancy and related activities (62)
  • Information service activities (63)
  • Financial service activities, except insurance and pension funding (64)
  • Insurance, reinsurance and pension funding, except compulsory social security (65)
  • Real estate activities (68)
  • Legal and accounting activities (69)
  • Activities of head offices; management consultancy activities (70)
  • Architectural and engineering activities; technical testing and analysis (71)
  • Scientific research and development (72)
  • Advertising and market research (73)
  • Other professional, scientific and technical activities (74)
  • Rental and leasing activities (77)
  • Employment activities (78)
  • Travel agency, tour operator reservation service and related activities (79)
  • Services to buildings and landscape activities (81)
  • Office administrative, office support and other business support activities (82)
  • Arts, sports and recreation activities (90-93): Creative, arts and entertainment activities, Libraries, archives, museums and other cultural activities, Gambling and betting activities, Sports activities and amusement and recreation activities
  • Activities of membership organisations (94)
  • Repair of computers and personal and household goods (95)

Some divisions are omitted from the survey sample for methodological and discretion reasons since the divisions includes only few companies with 10 or more employees, which are the lower limit for the samples. Those are Motion picture, video and tv programme production, sound recording and music publication activities (59), Programming and broadcasting activities (60), Activities auxiliary to financial services and insurance activities (66), Veterinary activities (75), Security and investigation activities (80) and Other personal service activities (96). For the same reasons, the four divisions from 90 to 93 are aggregated into one sample group Arts, sports and recreation activities (90-93). Also divisions covering public services are omitted (84-88).

The three size strata are defined by:

  • above 50 employees
  • 20-49 employees
  • 10-19 employees

The monthly responses from individual enterprises are stored with the following information:

  • Journr (identification)
  • ID of the business establishment
  • Sector (NACE2 / Danish Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities 2007)
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Employment
  • Year
  • Month
  • Trends, actual: business situation, turnover, employment, sales prices/rates
  • Trends, expected: business situation, turnover, employment, sales prices/rates
  • Capacity utilization (possible increase in business activity volume by higher demand, in percentages)
  • Limiting factors to the business

Frequency of data collection

Data is collected each month during the first 2-3 weeks.

Data collection

Data is collected either by paper questionnaire send to the respondent including postage pre-paid envelope, or by online reporting. In the latter case, respondents receive an e-mail notification telling it is time to log in to the reporting system VIRK, and fill the online questionnaire. Respondents are urged to respond online.

Response rate is about 77 pct. on average. Deadline for responding to the current month's questionnaire is about the 6'th of the month. Here, about two third of the answers have arrived. The rest, one third, arrives within two weeks and are included in the statistics.

Reminder is send about the 13th giving new deadline about the 20th of the survey month.

Information to the respondents about the statistics is found here (in Danish).

Data validation

To fill the questionnaire one has to tick one of three options for each question. This does not call for data validation. The paper questionnaires are scanned automatically, and questionnaires refused in this process are handled manually. Non-response errors are corrected for in the enumeration process.

By online reporting the system warns the respondent if a question is not ticked. However in both cases, online reporting or reporting by mail, it is accepted that some questions are left un-ticked. In the data enumeration process, basic data is checked if bigger deviations as compared to last month - usually the reason is either unidirectional change in assessments by several big companies or missing reporting from some few big companies.

Data compilation

The enterprises' responses are weighted according to their average number of full-time employees. Within each stratum answers are distributed into percentages answering decline, unchanged and increase adding up to 100 pct. The group of non-responding enterprises within the stratum is assigned same percentage distribution as the group of responding enterprises (which is considered a imputing method).

Hereafter, the responses are enumerated to the number of full-time employees of the total population, within each industry-grouping.

Confidence indicator for a variable is calculated and denominated balance. Is is the difference between percentages of enterprises (weighted by number of employees) that have answered increase and decrease. The balance figures do not measure the size of the increase or decrease, but only indicates that an overweight of enterprises expect either increase or decrease.

The Composite confidence indicator is the arithmetic average of balance figures for recent (past 3 months) business situation, recent (past 3 month) turnover (demand) and expected (coming 3 months) development of turnover (demand).

Especially regarding the questions on Production limiting factors, e.g. lack of workforce, the indicators reflects the share of companies that have ticked of the specific questions. The share of companies is weighted according to the average number of full-time employees within the specific companies. Hereafter the result is enumerated to cover the full population within each industry grouping.


No adjustments are carried out, besides seasonal adjustment.