Statistical Business Registers

Over the last decade, the growing demand for better and more detailed business statistics has put focus on statistical business registers (SBRs) and their role in the production of business statistics. While traditionally the primary role of SBRs has been to provide sample frames for business statistics, SBRs today often include more information so that they can be used in their own right as a source of business statistics. SBRs have also proved to be central for NSOs’ efforts to reduce response burden and utilise administrative data sources.



ESCAP Committee on Statistics endorsed the Regional Programme for the Improvement of Economic Statistics (RPES) and the Core Set of Economic Statistics, which together focus on improvement of basic economic statistics and are closely linked to the global implementation of the 2008 SNA; the principal framework integrating economic statistics.

The development of business registers is one of the key components in the Regional Programme, with one of the outputs being ‘increased availability of appropriate and properly maintained business registers in NSSs’ under the infrastructure development. Additionally, the Steering Group of the RPES at its third meeting in October 2013 identified the development of SBRs as one of the priority areas under the RPES.

The statistical business register (SBR) plays an essential role in the construction and maintenance of an integrated economic information system serving multiple purposes. One of its objectives is to provide quality data needed for the compilation of national accounts indicators. In simple words the SBR is a list of businesses engaged in the production of goods and services. Such an instrument plays a key role in defining the sampling frame for business surveys, as well as serving other purposes such as business demographic statistics, and statistics on the installed productive base, with breakdowns by size, economic activity and geographic characteristics.

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