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Business Statistics

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This community is to promote dialogue, share information and maintain close liaison between the producers and users of official business and trade statistics. Its scope covers statistics about the structure, content and performance of businesses within the UK, which includes measures of turnover and other financial transaction variables, and trends in employment, economic growth, markets and productivity.

Topic: English Business Survey: latest monthly statistics (November 2012)

1.  English Business Survey: latest monthly statistics (November 2012)

Yesterday saw the release of the latest English Business Survey (EBS) results for November 2012.

Key points for November:


·        The proportion of businesses in England (45%) reporting output being higher than it was three months earlier was the highest reported since the survey began (October 2011).


·        Employment is relatively stable with the majority of businesses reporting employment levels remaining the same in November as in August. However, more businesses reported employment to have increased than reported it to have fallen.


·        Expectations of future levels of employment have become more subdued, with a negative balance score of -5% for England, the second consecutive negative balance following nine consecutive months of positive balance scores.


·        London outperformed the other regions of the UK on measures of output and employment and is the most optimistic region, with the largest positive balance scores for expectations of future output and employment. The North West was the worst performing region with the lowest balance scores for both output and employment. Businesses in the West Midlands have the most pessimistic expectations of output and those in Yorkshire and the Humber are most pessimistic about employment.




What these statistics mean:


·        The EBS is a survey of workplaces. A workplace can be a single business, or a workplace that is part of a larger enterprise, for example the local store of a large supermarket. Ninety seven per cent of enterprises consist of a single workplace. The term business will be used throughout this release.


·        In order to reflect the relative importance or contribution of different sized workplaces to the local economy, the survey uses the number of people employed at each workplace as the measure of its contribution to the economy. Where the size of business is reported in the release, this refers to the number of people employed at each workplace.


·        Where 'Balances' are presented, they are the difference between the positive responses and the negative responses. Balances allow a general assessment of whether businesses feel positive or negative about something. More detailed information on the terminology used is included in the Background Notes to the release.




Detailed EBS data: the EBS Reporting Tool


The English Business Survey Reporting Tool allows users to access the full range of monthly and quarterly statistics for a range of geographies. To access the statistics go to -



Documents and Data



Statistical release and Data tables


As usual, data tables for the latest survey results and a statistical release are available at: Direct links are:


Statistical release & data tables:


If you require statistics in a different format, please e-mail the with your request; please include your name, organisation and a brief description of how you intend to use the data in the email.


Micro data


EBS micro data are available for use by approved researchers from ONS' Virtual Microdata Laboratory (link below) and to UK academics via the UK Data Archive (link below).


Virtual Microdata Laboratory -


UK Data Archive -



Next Release:


December 2012 monthly EBS statistics will be released in February 2013.


Feedback & updates


We would welcome any feedback that you might have on the survey, including how you are making use of the data and any suggestions you may have for further improvements, both in terms of methodology and accessibility to the data.


If you (or colleagues) would be interested in receiving regular updates about results from the survey, please let us know.