Business Data Collection – initial data release (updated 10 October 2017)

Project Description

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We are developing a new quarterly collection of financial business data, covering most of New Zealand’s economy. The new collection will provide indicators of sales, purchases, salaries and wages, and profit. It will be produced using an ‘administrative data first’ approach, to reduce the burden on our respondents. In the long term, this data will feed in to a new quarterly income measure of GDP (GDPI).

We started collecting data in the June 2016 quarter, and now have data for the June, September, and December quarters of 2016, and for the March 2017 and June 2017 quarters. We are releasing this data on an ‘experimental’ basis to get feedback on the approach and methodology we’re adopting.

You can download the following:

We'd like your feedback about:

  • how useful this information is
  • how you would like the data to be presented
  • which industries you would like to see published
  • the measure of profit that best suits your needs.

To provide feedback, please click the ‘Give Feedback’ button above.

If you would like to discuss your feedback further or would like to speak to us directly, please contact Craig Liken,, or Sue Chapman,

What you’ll see

Date range

The current release contains five quarters of data (June 2016, September 2016, December 2016, March 2017, June 2017).

Data is in current prices and is not adjusted for seasonal effects.


Sales – modelled from Goods and Services Tax (GST) sales data; supplemented with data collected via questionnaire for large and complex businesses.

Purchases – modelled from GST purchases data; supplemented with data collected via questionnaire for large and complex businesses.

Salaries and wages – modelled from Employee Monthly Schedule (EMS) data; supplemented with data collected via questionnaire for large and complex businesses.

Operating profit – derived from the sales, purchases, and salary and wages variables as follows:

Operating profit = Sales – (purchases + salaries & wages).

Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) – collected directly from large businesses via questionnaire, and proxied by the operating profit (above) for all other businesses.

Publication level

The BDC data will initially be released at ‘NZSIOC Level 2’ – a relatively high-level industry grouping, covering 31 industries.

Out-of-scope industries

A number of industries are not included within the scope of the Business Data Collection. These are industries where the National Accounts use a different indicator (eg Agriculture), industries where sales and purchases are not a significant part of operating surplus (eg Financial and Insurance Services), and industries that are entirely dominated by government sector units (eg Local Government Administration).

The Retail Trade and Accommodation industries are not currently collected as part of the Business Data Collection, but we anticipate including these industries later in 2017.


We have checked the data for confidentiality and have confidentialised cells where appropriate.

Ongoing releases

We intend to publish each additional quarter of data on this Innovation site as it becomes available. This will usually be within three months of the end of each quarter.

Data Source

The data feeding into this collection includes administrative data (GST sales, GST purchases, and Employee Monthly Schedule data, all from Inland Revenue), and data collected directly from large businesses via a quarterly questionnaire.

Data Quality

Data likely to change: These estimates are a work-in-progress. The methodology is still being refined, and the data cannot be fully analysed until we have collected additional quarters of data for comparison.

This data should not be considered final, and we advise against using the data in decision-making.

Known Issues

A list of known data issues can be found in the attached report.

Page updated 10 October 2017

Project Details