Wednesday 20 November, 2019

CSO begins survey to update GDP

The Central Statistical Office (CSO) has commenced its Annual Survey of Business Establishments, which is used to estimate the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The release of surveys began last Friday.

Planning and Development Minister Camille Robinson Regis said responses to the questionnaire are required by law. 

Failure by a selected establishment to complete the questionnaire and return to the CSO by the due date could lead to prosecution under the Statistics Act with a fine of up to a maximum of TT $2,000.

Even then, firms will still need to complete the questionnaire.  The initial time frame for the return of responses is 30 days after the first notice.

The data collected are strictly confidential and used solely for developing summary tables and will not be used for purposes of taxation, investigation or regulations.

The financial data collected encompasses the expenditure, revenue, assets and liabilities of the establishment. 

The information supplied by the sampled businesses is collated by the National Accounts Division of the CSO to estimate the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which is the total market value of all goods and services produced in Trinidad and Tobago in a given year. 

Government will use this GDP data when making decisions about infrastructure investments to promote domestic and international competitiveness and in the formulation of fiscal, monetary and foreign exchange policies.

Data collected on the characteristics of each establishment are used to maintain a statistical business register, which can be used by researchers, demographers, and statisticians in the conduct of various business surveys whose results are used to make important decisions that improve the lives of citizens.

The data collected will also assist enterprises and entrepreneurs to evaluate their performance vis-à-vis the industry’s profile and for their own planning and decision making processes.

Further, the results of surveys like this one assist national planners, business associations, and investors in evaluating the size and performance of the various industries in the economy and help formulate policy and inform decisions about the future.

This survey excludes government units, agricultural holdings and financial institutions and captures up-to-date basic information on the operations of business units and institutions.

The final results of the survey provide statistics critical to understanding the structure, trends, and levels of economic activity in the country. 

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