E.  Compiling FATS variables

15.55.        Economic variables, both operational and financial, with regard to FATS  should be collected primarily for their usefulness for trade policy needs and for analysing the globalization phenomena. Practical issues associated with obtaining data must also be considered. With such considerations in mind, and in the interest of harmonization with other international guidelines (see para. 15.6), MSITS 2010 recommends that the FATS variables to be collected include at least the following basic measures of foreign affiliate activity:

(a) Sales (turnover) and/or output;

(b) Employment;

(c) Value added;

(d) Exports and imports of goods and services;

(e) Number of enterprises.

15.56.        In the context of the present Compiler’s Guide, output and/or sales (turnover) are the variables of most interest, followed by employment and number of enterprises. Although the five variables identified above constitute a basic set that can provide answers to a variety of questions, additional variables may prove useful in addressing specific issues; among those additional variables are compensation of employees, gross fixed capital formation, total assets and research and development expenditures). MSITS 2010 suggests several additional measures that might be considered for collection by countries able to compile such information.  Most of the “basic” and “additional” variables, as well as their definitions, have been drawn from the 2008 SNA.[1] It may not always be specified, but there is a particular interest in obtaining detailed data for services sectors (either activities or products if relevant) for all the variables listed below.


[1] Other variables not mentioned in MSITS 2010 as basic and additional variables may also be collected in order to cover important needs, in particular “hours worked” (2008 SNA, para. 19.78), which are relevant in the context of the measurement of productivity. More details on variables and their definitions may be found in BD4 and HEGI.