Wholesale and retail trade and service activities
detinv, Retail sales, investment statistics, value index, retail trade, retail outlets, investments, working capital, machinery and fixtures and fittings, vehicles, new buildings and renovationWholesale and retail trade , Wholesale and retail trade and service activities

Retail sales, investment statistics


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Key figures

-16.6 %

change in seasonally adjusted retail trade index from Q1 to Q2 2017

Final and estimated investments in retail sales. Value index. 2005 = 100
Original series
IndexChange in per cent
2nd quarter 20162nd quarter 20172nd quarter 2016 - 2nd quarter 2017
Retail trade, except of motor vehicles, motorcycles and automotive fuel75.362.5-17.0
Machines and inventory95.765.2-31.9
Motor vehicles and other means of transport68.457.0-16.7
New buildings and renovation45.065.445.3
Seasonally adjusted series
IndexChange in per cent
1st quarter 20172nd quarter 20171st quarter 2017 - 2nd quarter 2017
Retail trade, except of motor vehicles, motorcycles and automotive fuel80.367.0-16.6
Machines and inventory85.670.9-17.2
Motor vehicles and other means of transport104.851.2-51.1
New buildings and renovation67.670.34.0

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About the statistics


Definitions of the main concepts and variables

Local unit (establishment): An enterprise or part of an enterprise that is located in one particular place and can be identified geographically. On or from this place economic activity is exercised which, with some exceptions, employs one or more persons in one and the same enterprise.

Investments: All acquisitions of new business equipment/assets with a lifetime of more than one year. Investments in used equipment are not included, while total renovation and assets acquired from financial leasing are included. Machines, fixtures, vehicles and other means of transport are reported in the quarter they were received even if they have not been paid for or capitalised in the accounts. For dwellings started before the end of the quarter, only costs accrued in the given quarter are included. Value added tax is reported in net value, which means that refunded VAT is not to be included, whereas non-refundable VAT is to be included.

Final investments: Acquisitions made by the establishments in a given quarter. The concept of final investments does not necessarily imply that the acquired material has been put to use.

Estimated investments: Acquisitions that the establishments expect to make in the short and medium term. These figures can be based on approved plans, anticipations, etc. They are usually more uncertain in the longer term.

Standard classifications

Machines and inventory: This includes for example computer equipment, cash registers, cleaning equipment, time clocks, alarm installations, video, TV, furniture, parts including assembly, and also tools with a lifetime of more than one year.

Motor vehicles and other means of transport: Motor vehicles, trailers and other means of transport.

New buildings and renovation: New buildings and total renovation of shops, storehouses, office buildings, manufacturing plants and social welfare installations.

Standard Industrial Classification (SIC2007): http://www.ssb.no/nace

Administrative information

Name and topic

Name: Retail sales, investment statistics
Topic: Wholesale and retail trade and service activities

Next release

Responsible division

Division for Construction and Service

Regional level

National level only.

Frequency and timeliness

Quarterly. Published approximately 60 days after given quarter.

International reporting

Not relevant


Microdata, information about sample units and the population are stored in the programming language SAS in the short term and as text files in the long term.


Background and purpose

The index covers the development in estimated and final investments in retail trade. The statistics are published as indices as of 2008, including time series from the first quarter 2005.

Users and applications

The statistics are used by the financial and economic sectors, trade organisations and other users within wholesale and retail trade. They are also used by Statistics Norway's Division for National Accounts.

Equal treatment of users

No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on ssb.no at 8 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given in the Statistics Release Calendar. This is one of Statistics Norway’s key principles for ensuring that all users are treated equally.

Coherence with other statistics

Similar statistics exist for manufacturing, mining and quarrying and electricity supply. The statistics are used in the quarterly national accounts to forecast yearly national account figures.

The investment statistics are also published in the yearly structural survey for wholesale and retail trade. The difference is that the quarterly statistics only publish investments in new materials, while the structural survey also includes investments in second-hand materials.

Legal authority

The Statistics Act, §2-1, 2-2 and 2-3

EEA reference

Not relevant



All establishments in retail trade, except of motor vehicles, motorcycles and automotive fuel (SIC2007: 47.1-9, except 47.3).

Data sources and sampling

Quarterly statistical surveys (simplified questionnaire), the VAT register and Statistics Norway's Register of Establishments and Enterprises.

A sample of about 14 700 units is selected from the population of retail trade establishments in the VAT register, and consist of two sub-samples. This represents about a third of all units and covers approximately 60 per cent of the total turnover in retail sales. The sampling fraction and coverage rate vary within different main industries. The sample consist of two sub-samples.

The first sub-sample of approximately 1 500 units is selected from other existing establishments, i.e. independent shops and the remaining chain stores not yet included in the sample above. This population is stratified according to size in terms of number of employees. The sample is adjusted as necessary to ensure a reasonably even geographical coverage. The sample is rotated annually based on the second term of the turnover statistics. Establishments are retained in the sample for a maximum of four years unless they are part of a full coverage stratum.

The second sub-sample consist of about 13 200 chain stores with direct reporting from head Office.

The statistics only include investments that the establishments pay for themselves. Investments made by property companies that rents out premises are not included.

Collection of data, editing and estimations

Questionnaires are submitted by mail, via the Internet or electronically. The establishments normally receive the questionnaire at the end of the month following the given quarter. The deadline is the 12th of  the following month.

Prior to the statistical compilation, arithmetic and logical checks are carried out. Final investments are checked against previous figures for estimated investments. The respondents are contacted if there are indications of incorrect figures. Checks at macro level are carried out by the use of figures and tables. Later on, the data are compared with investment figures from the structural business statistics for wholesale and retail trade, which are published approximately 16 months after the given year.

As the sub-sample of chain stores with direct reporting from head office is based on a full count, the final investment figures are aggregated.

To calculate investment figures for the sub-sample of units selected from other existing establishments, a ratio estimator is applied to each stratum (3-4 employee groups per fivedigit sector level) to inflate the sample data to population level. The inflation of sample data of identical units is based on the ratio between the turnover of the population and the turnover of the sample. The ratio estimator uses turnover figures from the second term, the so-called base term, of the wholesale and retail statistics as auxiliary variables. The base term is substituted in October every year in connection with the rotation of the sample.

The establishments are divided into identical units and newly established units. Identical units are establishments with turnover in both the base term and the given quarter. Newly established units are establishments that have been established between the base term and the given quarter. The turnover in these enterprises is based on estimates as this information is not available. The estimates are based on information on newly established units in the past three years, as well as on the estimate for identical units in the given quarter.

Seasonal adjustment

Refers to the separate tab "About seasonal adjustment" on statistics website.


It is not possible to identify information on individual establishments in the statistics. The data collected from respondents are used in accordance with the regulations in the Statistics Act.

Comparability over time and space

The index series goes back to the first quarter of 2005 and uses the same method of calculation for the whole period.

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

Control routines are in place to try and reveal measurement errors (the respondent supplies erroneous data) and processing errors (wrong interpretation of figures and letters during optical scanning). Three types of errors are common:

*Wrong unit: The respondent does not supply investment figures for the establishment, but for a part of the establishment or the enterprise that the establishment is part of.

*Wrong survey time period: The respondent does not report data for the correct time period (quarter).

*Wrong unit of measurement: Figures are in the wrong unit of measurement (usually in NOK instead of NOK 1 000).

The questionnaires are optically read and the data are checked automatically before the questionnaires are filed. The questionnaires are stored in digital form, which facilitates manual control of submitted forms and registered data. However, it is not possible to eliminate all errors. The scope of collection and processing errors is unknown.

Reminders are sent to enterprises that fail to respond in time, and failure to respond is subject to fines. Large enterprises that do not respond are reminded via telephone shortly before publication. Non-respondents are allocated the same change in per cent in the investments as the average for the stratum that they belong to. They normally constitute about 3 per cent of the total sample at the time of publication.

The results are uncertain as they are based on information from a sample of enterprises. The sample used to calculate the index is updated annually. When the sub-sample of chain stores is included, the total sample covers more than 60 per cent of the population in terms of turnover. Errors in the sample may also occur as a result of errors in the information that the sample is stratified according to. Sample skewness and variance are not calculated.

The coefficient of variation (CV) describes the relative uncertainty in the calculated index, given the assumptions which are the basis of the calculation modell. The CV is given in per cent in relation to the calculated index. Normally, the coefficient of variation for the total is between 4-10 per cent in the investment statistics. The CV forms the basis for a confidence interval of 95 per cent, if the lower and upper bound are defined in the same scale as the calculated index.

Using the second quarter of 2006 as an example, the results are as follows:

  Calculated index CV Lower bound Upper bound
Total 98,7 5,6 88,0 109,5

Given the assumptions which are the basis of the calculation model, we can say that it is 95 per cent certain that the real index lies between the interval 88,0 and 109,5.


The published numbers are final.

About seasonal adjustment

General information on seasonal adjustment

Monthly and quarterly time series are often characterised by considerable seasonal variations, which can complicate their interpretation. Such time series are therefore subjected to a process of seasonal adjustment in order to remove the effects of these seasonal fluctuations. Once data have been adjusted for seasonal effects using X-12-ARIMA or some other seasonal adjustment tool, a clearer picture of the time series emerges.

For more information on seasonal adjustment: metadata on methods: seasonal adjustment

Why seasonally adjust these statistics?

Historical data for investments for the retail sales industry (DETINV) reveal a clear pattern of higher investments towards the end of the year, i.e. in the 4th quarter. There could be many reasons for this, such as if a company decides to use up its entire investment budget before the end of the current year, or if they are registering the investments at the end of the year, etc. These patterns can complicate the interpretation of the time series from quarter to quarter. In order to enable an analysis of the underlying development of the investments of the retail sales industry, the timeseries are adjusted for seasonality.

Seasonally adjusted series

The investment for the retail sales industry are made up of four timeseries; retail trade, except of motor vehicles, motorcycles and automotive fuel, machines and Inventory, motor vehicles and other means of transport, and new buildings and renovation. All four timeseries are seasonally adjusted using the same model and method.


Pre-treatment routines/schemes

Pre-treatment is an adjustment for variations caused by calendar effects and outliers.

No pre-treatment is performed on the timeseries.Checks are carried out for outliers.

Calendar adjustment

Calendar adjustment involves adjusting for the effects of working days/trading days and for moving holidays. Working days/trading days are adjusted for both the number of working days/trading days and for the fact that the composition of days can vary from one month to another.

No correction.

Methods for trading/working day adjustment

No correction.

Correction for moving holidays

Correction based on an estimation of the duration of the moving holidays effects, specifically adjusted to Norwegian circumstances.

No correction.

National and EU/euro area calendars

Use of the Norwegian calendar

Treatment of outliers

Outliers, or extreme values, are abnormal values in the series.

The software automatically detects additive outliers, and temporary- and lasting level shifts.

Model selection

Pre-treatment requires choosing an ARIMA model, as well as deciding whether the data should be log-transformed or not.

Manual selection of model after statistical tests have been carried out. 

Comments :
Following statistical tests, the ARIMA model (0,1,1) (0,1,1) has been chosen, where the time series have been log-transformed.

 Decomposition scheme

The decomposition scheme specifies how the various components – trend cycle, seasonal and irregular – combine to form the original series. The most frequently used decomposition schemes are the multiplicative, additive or log additive.

Automatic decomposition scheme selection.

Seasonal adjustment

Choice of seasonal adjustment approach

X-12-ARIMA Version 0.3

Consistency between raw and seasonally adjusted data

No consistency conditions imposed.

Consistency between aggregate/definition of seasonally adjusted data

No consistency conditions imposed.

Direct versus indirect approach

Direct seasonal adjustment is performed if all time series, including aggregates, are seasonally adjusted on an individual basis. Indirect seasonal adjustment is performed if the seasonally adjusted estimate for a time series is derived by combining the estimates for two or more directly adjusted series.

A direct approach is used where the seasonal adjustment of components occurs using the same approach and software for each individual timeseries.

Horizon for estimating the model and the correction factors

When performing seasonal adjustment of a time series, it is possible to choose the period to be used for estimating the model and the correction factors. Correction factors are the factors used in the pre-treatment and seasonal adjustment of the series.

The whole time series is used to estimate the model and the correction factors.

Audit procedures

General revision policy

Seasonally adjusted data can change due to a revision of the unadjusted (raw) data or the addition of new data. Such changes are called revisions, and there are several ways to deal with the problem of revisions when publishing seasonally adjusted statistics.

The seasonally adjusted- and trendseries will change when a new time period (quarter) is added to the time series.

Concurrent versus current adjustment

The model, filters and calendar regressors are re-identified once a year and the respective parameters and factors are remain fixed between the yearly reviews.

Comments :
The seasonality filter for retail trade, except of motor vehicles, motorcycles and automotive fuel, and new buildings and renovation is 3x5. For machines and inventory, and motor vehicles and other means of transport the seasonality filter is 3x9. The trendfiler for all four timeseries is 3x5.

Horizon for published revisions

The entire time series is revised in the event of a re-estimation of the seasonal factors.

Quality of seasonal adjustment

Evaluation of seasonally adjusted data

Continuous/periodical evaluation using standard measures proposed by different seasonal adjustment tools.

Quality measures for seasonal adjustment

For most of the series, a selected set of diagnostics and graphical facilities for bulk treatment of data is used.

The quality measures for the four timeseries in DETINV vary. The series for retail trade, except of motor vehicles, motorcycles and automotive fuel, and machines and Inventory have good quality measures. The series for motor vehicles and other means of transport, and new buildings and renovation have poor quality measures. The poor level of the quality measures for motor vehicles and other means of transport means that adjusting for seasonality is not normally recommended.

In order to keep the seasonal adjustment to remain consistent, seasonal adjustment will be used on all four timeseries.

Special cases

Seasonal adjustment of short time series

All series are sufficiently long to perform an optimal seasonal adjustment.

Treatment of problematic series

Not relevant.

Posting procedures

Data availability

Raw data-, seasonally adjusted- and trendseries are available for all four time series.