The services sector price indices aim to measure the evolution of the prices of services provided to companies, from the supply side, for certain activities in this sector.
The 2009 National Classification of Economic Activities (CNAE-2009) for the branches of activity (up to the 4-digit level) and the Classification of Products by Activities (CPA) for products.
The SSPI covers certain activities of the service sector, belonging to the branches of transport and storage services, information and communication services, professional, scientific and technical activities and administrative activities and support services, which correspond to sections H, J, M and N of the CNAE-2009.
Specifically the following are studied:
-50.1 + 50.2. Sea and coastal water transport.
-51. Passenger air transport.
- 52.1. Warehousing and storage.
-52.24. Cargo handling.
-53. Postal and courier activities.
-62. Computer programming and consultancy.
-63. Information service activities.
-69.1+69.2+70.2. Legal and economic consultancy.
-71. Architectural and engineering activities; technical testing and analysis.
-73.2. Market research.
-78. Employment activities.
-80. Security and investigation activities.
-81.2. Cleaning activities.
The respondent unit is the company.
The services sector price index studies the quarterly evolution of the prices of the services provided to companies, from the supply side, for the activities covered therein (see section 3.3.), both in the domestic market and abroad.
The target population is the group of companies that provide any of the services covered by the SSPI (see section 3.3).
The geographical scope comprises the whole national territory.
Survey results are available from the first quarter of 2007.
The base period or reference period of the index is 2015 (2015=100).
Price reference period
This is the period against which current prices are compared, i.e. the period chosen for the calculation of the elementary indices.
With the calculation formula used for the SSPI base 2015 – chain-linked Laspeyres – the price reference period varies from year to year and is the last quarter of the year immediately prior to the year considered.
Reference period for weights
This is the period to which the data refers and from which the weights that provide the structure of the SSPI are obtained.
For the current survey, the calculation of the SSPI weights, base 2015, has been made using the data from the Structural Business Survey: Service Sector updated with price information to refer them to the last quarter of the year immediately prior to the one considered.
The weights are updated annually.
The indices are calculated as the ratio between the average price of the current period and the average price of the last period in the previous year (multiplied by 100). In this way, they do not have units.
All variations are calculated as percentages of variation.
The weight of a product or aggregate is the corresponding percentage that represents the production value of that product or aggregate over the value of total production. The units used are per thousand.
The reference period of the data is the quarter.
Data referred to the period: Trimestral A: 2019 TRI: I
The compilation and dissemination of the data are governed by the Statistical Law No. 12/1989 "Public Statistical Function" of May 9, 1989, and Law No. 4/1990 of June 29 on “National Budget of State for the year 1990" amended by Law No. 13/1996 "Fiscal, administrative and social measures" of December 30, 1996, makes compulsory all statistics included in the National Statistics Plan. The National Statistical Plan 2009-2012 was approved by the Royal Decree 1663/2008. It contains the statistics that must be developed in the four year period by the State General Administration's services or any other entity dependent on it. All statistics included in the National Statistics Plan are statistics for state purposes and are obligatory. The National Statistics Plan 2017-2020, approved by Royal Decree 410/2016, of 31 October, is the Plan currently implemented. This statistical operation has governmental purposes, and it is included in the National Statistics Plan 2017-2020. (Statistics of the State Administration).
The SSPI is subject to Council Regulation (EC) nº 1165/98 of 19 May 1998 on short-term statistics, which establishes the common framework of production and EU statistics on the short-term evolution of the economic cycle.
The Spanish version of the European Union standards affecting this statistical operation is accessible from:
Each quarter, the Ministry of Public Works calculates the price index data for Transport of goods by road .
The SSPI does not provide information on the branches that do not have a minimum number of respondents.
The SSPI is disseminated quarterly.
Press release, on the day of publication.
Generic publications such as Anuario Estadistico de EspaÃ±a (Spanish Statistical Yearbook) and Cifras INE (INE Figures) contain information related to the SSPI.
INEbase is the system the INE uses to store statistical information on the Internet. It contains all the information the INE produces in electronic formats. The primary organisation of the information follows the theme-based classification of the Inventory of Statistical Operations of the State General Administration . The basic unit of INEbase is the statistical operation, defined as the set of activities that lead to obtaining statistical results on a determined sector or subject based on the individually collected data. Also included in the scope of this definition are synthesis preparation.
The online database of the SSPI, which contains information on both the indices and variations, can be found in the section Servicios of INEBase.
In the case of SSPI, no microdata information is provided.
It is possible to request tailored information from the INE Information area. When processing these requests, confidentiality and accuracy limitations are taken into account.
Pursuant to Council Regulation (EC) No 1165/1998, every three years the Commission shall submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the relevance, quality and revision of short-term statistics indicators. The 2017 report can be consulted at the following link:
Sections 10.7 to 17 of this document are the user-oriented quality report for this operation.
Quality assurance framework for the INE statistics is based on the ESSCoP, the European Statistics Code of Practice made by EUROSTAT. The ESSCoP is made up of 16 principles, gathered in three areas: Institutional Environment, Processes and Products. Each principle is associated with some indicators which make possible to measure it. In order to evaluate quality, EUROSTAT provides different tools: the indicators mentioned above, Self-assessment based on the DESAP model, peer review, user satisfaction surveys and other proceedings for evaluation.
The Service Sector Price Indices feature a process designed to control and validate data throughout the process. There are validation controls in the electronic questionnaire, a data checking process at the collection units and a control from the promoter unit to guarantee the quality of the statistics.
Additionally, the SSPI is an indicator of high statistical quality, which meets all the criteria for consistency, comparability, accuracy and timeliness. Its methodology follows the recommendations contained in the internationally agreed manuals:
- "Producer Price Index Manual: Theory and Practice", published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
- "Methodological guide for developing producer price indices for services", published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
The entry into force of base 2010, in the first quarter of 2013, meant a methodological improvement, as since then the SSPI is calculated using chain-linked indices, instead of fixed base indices. This allows modifications to be made to the sample every year, as well as updating the weights, which ensures that the indices are more dynamic and better adapted to the evolution of the markets.
The SSPI, base 2015, retains the main characteristics of the SSPI, base 2010, and, like the latter, will annually review the weights for a certain level of functional disaggregation.
Furthermore, as it is a statistic included in Council Regulation (EC) No 1165/1998, the methodologies for calculating the indices of each activity are harmonised across all countries, using the methods recommended in the Methodological guide for developing producer price indices for services, published by the OECD and Eurostat.
However, in the future the coverage of this indicator will be improved, as it is planned to include new activities belonging to the services sector, which are not currently included in the Regulation, in order to be able to calculate, in this way, an overall index of the services sector.
The main users of the SSPI are:
- Ministries and other public agencies.
- Territorial administrations ( Autonomous Communities, City Councils, etc.).
- Companies and institutions.
- Economic analysts and universities.
The applications of the SSPI notably include:
- Direct use as an indicator for the short-term analysis of the economic activity of the service sector.
- Indirect use as a deflator, to convert data at current prices into data at constant prices, in the service sector activity statistics and national accounting.
The INE has carried out general user satisfaction surveys in 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 and it plans to continue doing so every three years. The purpose of these surveys is to find out what users think about the quality of the information of the INE statistics and the extent to which their needs of information are covered. In addition, additional surveys are carried out in order to acknowledge better other fields such as dissemination of the information, quality of some publications...
On the INE website, in its section Methods and Projects / Quality and Code of Practice / INE quality management / User surveys are available surveys conducted to date.(Click next link)
The specific needs of users are taken into account whenever methodological revisions of the survey are carried out, in order to adapt the content of the survey to the specific requirements of its users, thereby increasing their levels of satisfaction.
Periodically meetings are held with the professional associations of the sectors included in the indices, in which they inform us of their information needs. When there are no confidentiality issues, and at the request of the users, the indices are published at a more disaggregated level than that which is usually published.
Indices are prepared using a disaggregation of two digits of the CNAE 2009, of the activities included in the Regulation. In some of them, three disaggregation digits are reached.
The obligatory statistical results availability rate for the SSPI, base 2015, is 100%..
The sample is designed using the cut-off procedure, which means that there are no sampling errors.
In terms of non-sampling errors, the different survey processes are aimed at eliminating or reducing these errors as much as possible, both in the collection phase (response rate and data checking) and in subsequent editing and imputing phases.
Sampling errors are not calculated for SSPI since the sample is based on non-probability methods (cut-off procedure).
The Service Price Indices have a very high response rate, around 90% in most activities.
To correct non-sampling errors, such as non-response or changes in the characteristics of a company's services, estimates and quality adjustments are made.
Data estimates are made depending on the sector to which they pertain. In most cases, the same variation is applied to the price from the previous period as the rest of the prices of the same product. When the non-response is partial, it is also possible to apply the variation of the rest of the services offered by the company providing the service without data.
In 2018, the non-response rate corresponding to the year average is A4=14,6%, the item non-response rate is A5=12,36%, the rate of over-coverage is A2=1,99% and the imputation rate is A7=4,18%.
According to that established in the Regulation, the transmission period for Eurostat data is 90 days after the end of the reference period.
This objective is met, as the SSPI results are published approximately 77 days after the end of the reference quarter. Therefore, T1 (delay in first results)=77 days and T2 (delay in definitive results)=1 year and 77 days.
The survey results are published according to INE's short-term statistics publication calendar (https://www.ine.es/en/daco/daco41/calen_en.htm)
All SSPI publications were published on the date announced in the publication calendar.
The SSPI data is not disaggregated by Autonomous Community.
In addition, to compare the SSPI with European Union countries, the STS Regulation and the methodological guidelines applied by the countries ensure good comparability between national data and European aggregates.
However, the data is not 100% comparable between one country and another, as the collection methods (surveys can be carried out or administrative sources can be used) and the procedures for calculating the indices (fixed base Laspeyres, chain-linked Laspeyres, etc.) are not harmonised in this regulation.
For all the activities calculated, the series is available from the first quarter of 2007 in the National Classification of Economic Activities 2009 (CNAE-2009), in accordance with Royal Decree 475/2007 of 13 April 2007. Due to the methodological continuity applied since the implementation of the survey, the time series can be compared from the beginning. A series of 48 elements is available until 2018.
In addition, for the following activities: Maritime transport of goods, Regular passenger air transport, Postal and courier activities, Telecommunications and Computer activities, the series are available in the CNAE-93 from the first quarter of 2007 to the fourth quarter of 2008 (a series of 8 elements).
Data from other sources can be used to compare the results offered by a service sector activity. For example, the landline and mobile telephone price indices obtained by the Telecommunications Market Commission (CMT) can be compared with the Telecommunications Sector Price Index.
It is also possible to compare the data of some SSPI activities with the similar ones collected in the CPI, however, they do not have to give the same results, since they are statistics with a different nature and methodology. The SSPI is a price index from a supply point of view, while the CPI is a price index from a demand point of view.
The SSPIs are internally consistent. Aggregations are made from the lowest level of information to the highest.
The estimated budgetary appropriation necessary to finance these statistics planned in the 2019 annual Programme amounts to 163.42 thousand euros.
During the sample modifications, the statistical burden on respondents is taken into account so as to avoid an excessive amount of time spent on completion. Meetings have been held with professional associations in most of the sectors covered by the indices, in order to adapt the questionnaires to the information available in the companies in order to facilitate its completion as far as possible.
The INE of Spain has a policy which regulates the basic aspects of statistical data revision, seeking to ensure process transparency and product quality. This policy is laid out in the document approved by the INE board of directors on 13 March of 2015, which is available on the INE website, in the section "Methods and projects/Quality and Code of Practice/INE’s Quality management/INE’s Revision policy" (link).
This general policy sets the criteria that the different type of revisions should follow: routine revision- it is the case of statistics whose production process includes regular revisions-; more extensive revision- when methodological or basic reference source changes take place-; and exceptional revision- for instance, when an error appears in a published statistic-.
The SSPI results can be reviewed within one year of publication.
Any differences that may occur between the provisional and definitive data are due to the unavailability of data in the provisional publication, due to late receipt of the questionnaire.
To measure the degree of variation between the provisional and definitive results, the changes occurring between the first and the definitive publication were analysed for a 20 quarter period between the first quarter of 2013 and the fourth quarter of 2018, obtaining:
- For the general index:
Mean absolute revision (MAR) = 0.42
Relative mean absolute revision (RMAR) = 0.42%.
Mean revision (MR) = 0.01
- For the annual rate of the general index:
The data used to compile the SSPI is obtained through a company survey. The framework of the survey is all companies, based in Spain, that produce services in the activities included in the index scope, and sell them to other companies.
For each activity, the selection of the units that form part of the sample is carried out in such a way as to cover between 60% and 70% of the turnover of said activity (according to data from the Annual Services Survey, referring to the year 2015).
In the SSPI, base 2015, approximately 7,000 prices of 111 products are collected each quarter in a sample of close to 850 companies.
Prices are collected once a quarter for most activities and refer to the average price for the quarter.
The collection of prices for the SSPI is carried out by means of a questionnaire to the companies that form part of the sample. Questionnaires are completed by e-mail, fax, telephone or post.
When base 2010 began, the questionnaires were completed using the Internet information collection application -IRIA-.
The questionnaire shows the products for which the company must provide the price, with a detailed description of their features, which allows the company to identify the exact product.
The collection unit checks that all the information requested in the questionnaire is completed and that any issues related to companies, products and prices are properly justified and commented. This is followed by a centralised data cleaning, in order to detect possible errors or unjustified price variations.
- Data checking
As a general rule, for any anomaly detected in the products or their prices during the validation process, the respondent is contacted again for justification or correction, in case the characteristics or the unit of measure of the product have changed.
- Calculation of indices
Firstly, the elementary indices of a product in a company are calculated, as the ratio of the price collected in the current quarter to the price collected in the last quarter of the previous year. In case the company provides more than one price for a product, a geometric mean is calculated for them.
Subsequently, basic indices are aggregated using a weighted arithmetic mean.
The main sources of SSPI weights are the Structural Business Survey and the SSPI itself.
- Dealing with the occasional lack of price
When the product price is occasionally not stated, the company is contacted to see if it can estimate the price that the transaction would have cost.
If this is not possible, its price is estimated from the variations of the remaining prices for that product or its corresponding branch.
- Dealing with product substitutions
When the characteristics of a product disappear or change, the respondent is contacted to find out the temporary or definitive nature of this incidence, and if the disappearance is definitive, an attempt is made to replace it with another.
If the company does not have a substitute for the product, an attempt is made to find another product that can provide this information.
- Adjustments for quality change in the SSPI
When there is a change in the characteristics that define one product or it disappears and is replaced by another, an adjustment must be made to determine which part of the price difference between the two products is due to a difference in quality between them.
In general terms, the imputed prices are used to make this adjustment. This method consists of imputing the average price variation of an aggregate that is higher than the one to which the product belongs.
No seasonal adjustment is applied.