Economic Survey of Manufacturing

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The Economic Survey of Manufacturing (EMS) is designed to provide short-term economic indicators for the manufacturing sector. In addition, the data is used to compile the manufacturing sector component of quarterly national accounts.


The purpose of the Economic Survey of Manufacturing is to collect statistics from a cross section of New Zealand businesses involved in manufacturing. The financial data collected by this survey is used in the production of a range of economic indicators. An example is Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which measures economic activity in New Zealand. These statistics help government and other organisations in planning and decision making.

Citation Information


Economic Survey of Manufacturing

Alternate Title

QMS; Manufacturing Survey; Quarterly Manufacturing Survey; EMS;


Statistics New Zealand: Business Indicators


Statistics New Zealand


Statistics New Zealand

Coverage Information

Temporal Coverage

  • 1977-06 to present

Topical Coverage

  • Macroeconomic statistics
  • Economic accounts
  • Labour
  • Business statistics
  • Mining, manufacturing, construction
  • Business and agricultural surveys
  • Manufacturing
  • QMS
  • EMS
  • Economic
  • Production

Usage and limitations of the data

Use of manufacturing data in quarterly national accounts A key use of the Economic Survey of Manufacturing is in the calculation of manufacturing value added for the compilation of quarterly Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Base year manufacturing value added is extrapolated using volume indexes. For each ANZSIC division, volume indexes are calculated from deflated sales and the deflated finished goods stock change. Sub-indexes from the Producers Price Index (PPI) are used for deflating QMS sales and finished goods stocks.

QMS data is supplemented with production data for the following industries: Meat and dairy product Petroleum and industrial chemical Basic metal.

Significant events impacting this study series

1958 - 1977 From 1958 to 1977 Statistics New Zealand conducted a quarterly survey of manufactured stocks. It was compiled on a sample basis and covered approximately 10 percent of all factories included in the annual Census of Industrial Production (now Manufacturing).

1977 - 1982 The subsequent survey commenced in June 1977. As an economic survey of manufacturing statistics, it was a more sophisticated base for economic projections than that available before 1977. The system was automated in 1981.

1982 - 1991 The survey was revised in 1982. A statistically representative sample of manufacturing units selected from the 1979 Census of Manufacturing replaced one third of the existing sample. The benchmarks used to rate-up sample totals were recalculated based on the 1979 Census.

1991 - 1998 The survey was revised again in 1991. The Department introduced a revised sample of businesses and made other technical changes to the Quarterly Economic Survey of Manufacturing from the March quarter 1991. The changes made resulted in improved statistics on manufacturing in New Zealand.

In order to provide a consistent longer term historical series, a compatible revised series going back over previous years was calculated. In contrast to the previous survey sample, which was based on the 1979 Census of Manufacturing, the revised sample was selected from the Statistics New Zealand Business Frame, a comprehensive and up to date list of all businesses in New Zealand. The use of this directory as the sample frame ensured a comprehensive coverage of the manufacturing sector and allowed for the timely inclusion of new manufacturing businesses.

The previous survey sample design, which was introduced in 1982 was improved to better reflect the manufacturing sector in 1991. The survey population of manufacturers was also extended to cover manufacturing businesses with less than 2 full-time equivalent persons engaged. These small businesses were excluded from the previous survey. The revised series of statistics for quarters prior to the introduction of the new survey included estimates for this extension to the population coverage, in order to ensure continuity of the series.

From March 1996 data onwards, the Economic Survey of Manufacturing was published according to the Australian New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC). NZSIC data continued to be available until the survey was redesigned according to ANZSIC. Because of differences between the ANZSIC and NZSIC populations there was some under coverage in the published ANZSIC series.

1998 - 2001 From the June 1998 quarter, the overall number of variables collected from the Economic Survey of Manufacturing was reduced. Some variables were added to the survey for the Quarterly Profit Survey project. These were : Interest received Dividends received Interest paid

Variables which were no longer collected from the June 1998 quarter were: Hours worked by working proprietors (this variable was still collected in the short-form questionnaire) Disposals of fixed assets (land) and disposals of fixed assets (other) Sales tax and excise duty was no longer collected. Firms were asked to explicitly exclude this from the questionnaire Government grants and subsidies received Interest, dividends, royalties etc. received Depreciation Interest, dividends, royalties etc. paid

The two main changes which affected the data published from June 1998 quarter were: Disposals of fixed assets (series MANQ.S1K7) was discontinued Purchases and other operating expenditure (series MANQ.S1[A-K]6) was discontinued. This series was replaced by a new variable, Purchases of goods and services (series MANQ.S1[A-K]9)). The new variable was the same as the old variable except that it excluded depreciation expenses.

The sample was not reselected at this time.

Some formatting changes were made to the questionnaire in the September 1998 quarter.

2001 - The previous QMS series was based on a statistical sample that was first surveyed in the December 1992 quarter. The last quarter of the old QMS was June 2001. The QMS was a panel survey. Businesses had one chance of selection at their birth and those that were introduced then remained in the sample until either they ceased operation in the manufacturing industry, or the panel was reselected.

Over time, sample designs become less effective in representing the current population as a whole. While the original samples are maintained to include a representative selection of new businesses, periodically panel samples need to be refreshed to reflect changes in the composition of the population.

The QMS has been redesigned to provide better and more up-to-date coverage of the Manufacturing population. The new QMS design will allow changes in the composition of the population over time to be better represented in the survey.

Changes to the QMS include: a redesign of the survey questionnaire; the inclusion of royalty and patent fees within the definition of operating income and expenditure; the introduction of an ANZSIC definition of Manufacturing as the basis for the sample design; the use of administrative (tax) data for small to medium-sized businesses in place of direct surveying; the adoption of periodic re-selection of the survey sample population. the use of bi-variate stratification in the sample design; improvements in non-response imputation methodologies.

These changes have been made to ensure that the future estimates produced from the QMS accurately reflect activity in the manufacturing sector of the New Zealand economy.

During the June 2001 quarter, the QMS was calculated on both the old and new basis. The primary purpose of this "dual run" was to enable the comparison of the surveys run under the previous and redesigned methods, so that the two series could be linked at a single point in time. This facilitated the production of an analytical back series for the redefined output industries. Another important function of the dual run was to measure level shifts in the results coming from the two different designs so that the results can be verified and explained.

The content of the questionnaire was reviewed with a focus on meeting the core data requirements of users, while being mindful of the burden that such collection places on respondents. The number of variables collected on the questionnaire has, as a consequence, been significantly reduced. The following items have been removed from the questionnaire from the June 2001 quarter: Hours worked by paid employees Interest received Dividends received All other income Salaries and wages to working proprietors Interest paid All other expenditure

During consultation with users, it was determined that the existing Additions to Fixed Assets question was of limited use without a corresponding Disposals question also being asked. Users (both internal and external) identified Net Additions to Fixed Assets as being the information which was of most use to them. As a consequence, the following question has been added to the questionnaire from the June 2001 quarter: Disposals of fixed assets

The main industry affected by the population adjustments resulting from the change to an ANZSIC design was the Printing, Publishing and Recorded Media industry, which saw the level of sales recorded rise by $195 million for the June 2001 quarter as a result. Activities which have been brought into the scope of this industry under the ANZSIC design include: Book and Other Publishing Newspaper Printing or Publishing Other Periodical Publishing Paper Stationery Manufacturing

The only other industry affected by the population expansion was Machinery and Equipment Manufacturing, which rose by $28 million. Activities which have been brought into the scope of this industry under the ANZSIC design include: Lifting and Material Handling Equipment Manufacturing Medical and Surgical Equipment Manufacturing

2008 Dairy industry quarters were standardised - Before December 2008, data for most dairy values were calculated on a non-standard quarter. This meant that the June quarter, for example, included dairy values for the months of March, April and May, while the standard June quarter includes April, May and June. From the June 2011 quarter onwards, Statistics NZ publishes standard quarter data. revising previously published data back to December 2008.

2010-11 The Australian and New Zealand Standard Industry Classification (ANZSIC 2006) was implemented in the Economic Survey of Manufacturing. Prior to April 2011, data had been collected, and information published, on an ANZSIC96 basis.

The process of implementing ANZSIC06 began with initial planning in July 2008 and ended with the release of quarterly ANZSIC06-based QMS estimates for the December 2010 quarter in April 2011.

The basic method of selecting a sample of businesses based on industry and size, and then weighting it to represent the population of businesses, did not change. There were some changes to sample selection and data collection for the surveys: • A revised sample, based on current type of activity and size, was selected to represent the current population distribution of businesses within each industry. • Where possible, small and medium-sized businesses in the previous survey were rotated out of survey selection and replaced with different businesses. • Sales reported in GST returns were used more for small businesses, rather than collecting data directly through questionnaires.

From April 2010 to September 2010, data was collected for the ANZSIC96 sample as well as for the new ANZSIC06 sample, providing an overlap to allow the old and new survey estimates to be linked. This ‘dual run’ was used to compare the series and assess the practical differences between the two different samples’ outputs. To ensure that outputs are useful to users, procedures are applied to the historical data collected on an ANZSIC96 basis to produce suitable surrogate ANZSIC06 time series for past time periods. The proportional method was used for manufacturing.

The expression base for the constant price estimates was also updated to September 2010 quarter prices.

Under ANZSIC96, 15 industries were surveyed. For ANZSIC06, the number was reduced to 13.

A paper discussing this implementation, Implementing ANZSIC 2006 in manufacturing, wholesale, and selected other services, is available.

2012 Additions and disposal of fixed assets ceased to be collected from the December 2012 quarter.


3 Quarterly

Main users of the data

Quarterly National Accounts

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