Abstract: The Swiss Federal Statistical Office developed and adopted a new statistical data dissemination policy. It deals with three essential components: The categories of users, the information needs to be met and the possible ways of disseminating data. On the basis of their analysis, concrete measures were defined which allow to improve statistical data dissemination. Among the various methods of dissemination, priority is given to publications which appear in a new light, and to the creation of a modern data-processing infrastructure based on data banks.
Abstract: The New Zealand Government Department of Statistics Business Directory is a directory of the individual economic units which comprise the New Zealand economy. The Directory was established in the early 1970s as a survey frame for the Department's five-yearly series of economic censuses. It is currently undergoing a redevelopment programme due for completion in 1987. The aim of this programme is to enable the Directory to service a wider range of uses, including all economic unit surveys conducted by the Department and other public agencies. Three different record types are used to hold information about economic units on the…Directory. Enterprise records hold information about the legal characteristics of a business, Accounting unit records correspond to sub-divisions of an Enterprise for accounting purposes, and Activity unit records hold data about the physical locations operated by the Enterprise. A variety of standard data items can be held in each record, including names, addresses, industry classification, numbers employed etc. Information on the links between Accounting and Activity units which form Enterprise structures is also maintained, as are data on ownership relationships between Enterprises. Most data are ‘timestamped’ so that previous values of data items and past ownership relationships can be retrieved if required. The Directory is maintained on the Department's computers, and interrogation and updating of data is carried out online via VDUs.
Abstract: The influence of cheap and powerful microcomputers on data processing policies is currently debated in most statistical agencies. Many see the fast evolution of this new technology as a threat, some as a promise. The main effects of microcomputers on the statistical environment will be external as opposed to internal. Their impact on access to data may alter not only the production process of statistics but also the kinds of statistics we produce and, perhaps, the very concept of statistics. The use of microcomputers will probably turn out to be more profitable regarding software rather than hardware aspects, although advantageous…evolution with respect to hardware remain possible through the installation of local area networks – provided that investment policies are sufficiently flexible. In developing countries, the emergence of inexpensive and reliable microcomputers has created particular hopes for statistical work. Our current experience indicates that many of these expectations may well be fulfilled.
Abstract: Consumer price indices have many and diverse uses. They are needed, in the first place, to study the development of prices, secondly, for indexation, especially of wages and other income flows, and thirdly to compile estimates of consumer expenditure and of retail sales in constant prices. The use to be made of the indices should help determine the type of index computed. Thus when defining which concept of consumption should be embodied in the consumer price index, it may be felt that the first and second uses require measurement of changes in currency value over time, thus relating to…purchases. But acquisitions or use could also furnish a basis for the index. In any case, the question still arises, which consumption components should be excluded. Problems discussed in this connection are the inclusion or exclusion of investments and savings, gifts and contributions, second-hand purchases, illegal prices and consumption, insurance, other financial services and overseas expenditures. A major problem is the treatment of owner-occupied dwellings, where eight alternatives, each answering different questions, are distinguished.
Abstract: Problems of linking international comparisons became significant with the growing number of regional projects and the wish to compile intra- or intercontinental or even worldwide results from the regional exercises. The related tasks and methods of linking can be systematized with the help of some basic notions, like closed system, chain-linking, etc. Starting from simple cases (inclusion of an additional country in an existing comparison, linking two comparisons), more complicated procedures (linking several regions, etc.) can be explored.
Abstract: Indicators of water statistics need improvement when seen from the viewpoint of the users of such statistics. This applies to the statistical classification of water use, watercourse loading and particularly to statistics on the quality of watercourses. A general quality classification of water bodies is required for the description of the quality of water resources in international statistics. Statistical data compiled from individual water quality variables of selected watercourses are difficult to compare on an international basis and may even be misleading. The use of such statistics should be discontinued.
Abstract: At the Netherlands Central Bureau of Statistics a method has been developed which provides insight into the relationships between developments in input costs and output prices. This method is based on input-output theory and is called “Price Analysis”. Starting from 1985, the Netherlands Central Bureau of Statistics is to issue an annual publication on this price analysis for the Dutch economy. The method takes into account the relationship between changes in input prices and in unit costs of inputs. Applications related to consumer price changes elucidate the transmission of price changes through the economy and the treatment of price and…unit cost effects. Both aspects can be illustrated by an example relating to energy. The scope can be widened from just the energy branches to an analysis of the contributions of all branches of industry to consumer price changes. Finally, consumer price changes can be analysed in an alternative way by means of contributions of primary inputs, like imports, wages, etc.