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10 May 2010

Distributive Trade Statistics


International Recommendations for
Distributive Trade Statistics 2008 (IRDTS 2008)

The United Nations Statistical Commission, at its thirty-ninth session held in New York on 26-29 February 2008, adopted the International Recommendations for Distributive Trade Statistics 2008 (IRDTS 2008) as the new standard in this area of statistics.

International Recommendations for Distributive Trade Statistics 2008

IRDTS 2008 was prepared in accordance with the decision of the Commission, during its thirty-seventh session in March 2006, to endorse the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) initiative of revising the existing International Recommendations on Statistics of the Distributive Trades and Services (Statistical papers, series M, No.57) and Organization and Conduct of Distributive Trade Surveys (Statistical Papers, Series F, No.19). The Commission advised that the revision should fully reflect the specific needs and circumstances of various groups of countries particularly those with a substantial informal sector. Preparation of IRDTS 2008 was undertaken by UNSD following the conclusions of the UN Expert Group on Distributive Trade Statistics. It incorporates inputs from national statistical offices and international organizations received during global consultations on its contents from November 2006 through December 2007.

IRDTS 2008 is part of UNSD's efforts to strengthen countries' methodological and operational foundations of basic economic statistics in an integrated manner, including enhancement of their coherence across different sectors of an economy, conceptual consistency with macroeconomic statistics and production of official distributive trade statistics in the most cost efficient way.

IRDTS 2008 provides the comprehensive methodological framework for collection and compilation of distributive trade statistics in all countries irrespective of the level of development of their statistical systems. Its primary audience is the staff of national statistical offices involved in the compilation of these statistics. IRDTS 2008 also contains a wealth of information which might be of interest to data users who would like to better understand the nature of distributive trade data.

Distributive Trade Indices

Indices of Distributive Trade: Handbook on Good Practices

While adopting the IRDTS 2008, the Statistical Commission also agreed to its implementation programme and requested UNSD to develop practical guidance on the compilation of distributive trade statistics, including a description of good practices in compilation of distributive trade indices. The Indices of Distributive Trade: Handbook on Good Practices has been prepared in response to this Commission’s request. Its general objective is to support compilers of distributive trade statistics by collecting experiences in compilation of distributive trade indices in one document. The Handbook contains explanations of the challenges and good practices in compilation experience of several countries with different statistical background. The decision for a good practice in a country should always be based on national circumstances. By providing readers with a description of various country experiences, the present Handbook could be a useful tool in this decision process.

Indices of Distributive Trade: Handbook on Good Practices

The distributive trade has long been of great interest for analysts and forecasters as the changes in value and volume of trade turnover, in particular the retail turnover, is regarded as an important short-term indicator of consumer confidence and economic activity in general. Chapters 2 to 6 of the Handbook describe both general issues relevant to the compilation of value and volume indices of retail trade turnover and experiences of several countries in this area. The output of distributive trade is a significant component in the compilation of the GDP and, in this context, deflation of its value is of a special interest for national accounts. Chapter 7 is devoted to a discussion of conceptual issues and practices of the European countries relevant in this regard.

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