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Foreign trade statistics adjusted more in 2007 than earlier

8.5.2008 12.00
Press release

Last year, the preliminary statistics on export and import values published monthly by the National Board of Customs deviated more than in the year before from the final figures of the statistical year.

The correctness of the preliminary statistics was essentially deteriorated by delays in the accrual of statistical material. Especially in the beginning of the year, statistical declarations were delayed due to data system problems at certain large companies.

A year earlier, the preliminary data were clearly more exact than in previous years. The estimation methods have developed, the time series used in the estimation have become longer and the data on value-added tax used as comparison material is updated more frequently. The level of adjustment of the Finnish foreign trade statistics has corresponded to the average level of the EU countries.

The statistics for each month are subjected to an inspection process, in which changes can also be made to statistics published in earlier months. Typical errors in the statistical declarations are, among others, faulty commodity codes or country codes, as well as faulty value and quantity data. The internal trade statistics are also checked by comparing them to the data on value-added tax.

The final export figures for last year show a figure that is 1 457 million euros higher than what was estimated in the preliminary statistics. This is 2.2 per cent of the value of the total exports. In 2006, the final export figures increased by 0.6 per cent. The final import figures increased by 2 355 million euros, i.e. 4.0 per cent of the value of the total imports. One year earlier the increase was 2.2 per cent. The attached table shows the monthly preliminary and final data.

Monthly preliminary data and final figures on imports and exports in 2007, MEUR

Month Imports Exports
Preliminary data Final figures Preliminary data Final figures
January 4 395 4 677 4 695 4 909
February 4 410 4 696 4 670 4 894
March 4 925 5 271 5 680 5 875
April 4 425 4 718 5 910 6 052
May 5 145 5 269 5 580 5 791
June 4 955 5 076 5 365 5 490
July 4 770 4 898 5 205 5 218
August 4 865 4 896 5 335 5 333
September 4 565 4 699 5 410 5 443
October 5 185 5 429 5 735 5 953
November 4 910 5 183 5 775 5 953
December 4 710 4 803 4 870 4 941
In total 57 260 59 616 64 230 65 687
Difference MEUR   2 355   1 457
Difference %   4,0   2,2

The National Board of Customs publishes the preliminary data within 40 days after the end of the statistical month. Detailed monthly statistics on foreign trade are published roughly 9 weeks after the statistical month. Final yearly statistics are published no later than May the following year.

Foreign trade statistics published by the National Board of Customs are part of the Official Statistics of Finland.

Detailed information on the grounds for drawing up statistics on the foreign trade can be obtained under the heading Foreign Trade Statistics at the Finnish Customs website. The website also contains a publishing timetable for the preliminary data and the monthly surveys.

All surveys on foreign trade published by the National Board of Customs are obtainable free of charge at the Finnish Customs website. The website also contains statistical charts and graphics on the foreign trade. The statistics database Uljas (http://uljas.tulli.fi/), which provides more specific statistical information on the foreign trade in terms of countries and products, can also be used free of charge.

National Board of Customs, Statistics Unit
More information:
Head of Statistics Timo Koskimäki, gsm 040 332 1851
Senior Customs Inspector Kari Tähtivaara, tel. 020 492 1844
Statistics bulletin