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Export Statistics Scotland - Methodology


Export Statistics Scotland (ESS) brings together various sources of survey and administrative data to produce estimates of the (nominal) value of Scottish international and rest of UK exports by industry and export destination region/country. 

Global Connections Survey

Scotland's Global Connections Survey (GCS) is an annual sample survey that the Scottish Government sends to a representative sample of companies with operations in Scotland to collect export data for the previous year. The companies are selected using stratified random sampling from The Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR).

The GCS informs much of the estimates of international exports published in ESS and is the primary source for estimates of exports from Scotland to the rest of the UK.


The data is grossed up to cover all companies on the IDBR using turnover.


Estimating Scottish Exports to the Rest of the UK

Estimates of Scottish exports to the rest of the UK are available within the publication. As companies are not legally required to report their accounts below UK level, their accounting practices do not allow accurate reporting below UK level. There is also the issue of products being shipped across UK to complete production adding value at various stages. Therefore, the estimates of rest of UK exports should be interpreted with due care.

Articles discussing these (and other) issues in more detail were published in previous Scottish Economic Statistics publications. These can be accessed at the links below.

Scottish Economic Statistics 2007: Intra-UK trade discussion article