Concepts and definitions


Commodities refer to tangible or intangible instruments that directly (consumables) or indirectly (capital goods) satisfy people's needs.

Tangible assets comprise both goods, as well as materials and supplies. Services are intangible assets. (Other intangible assets can be, for example, data in digital format or the production right of some tangible asset).

Commodity production (industrial output) also includes so-called industrial services. Industrial services include remodelling, processing, working and other such finishing, maintenance, repairs and installations. Industrial services have their own PRODCOM service titles in the commodity statistics' PRODCOM product name register.

Some industrial services are, however, classified as non-industrial services in the Standard Industrial Classification (TOL), for example, maintenance and repair of vehicles and repair and maintenance of office equipment and computers, so they do not belong to the inquiry on manufacturing commodities. This also applies to design and programming of software, as well as consulting and other computer and related activities.

Data supplier unit

The data supplier unit in the statistics on manufacturing commodities is an enterprise or an establishment of an enterprise, whose main activity is manufacturing (B Mining and quarrying or C Manufacturing). Thus, even establishments of non-industrial enterprises engaged in industrial activity are included in the inquiry.

The enterprises and establishments of the inquiry on production have been selected so that the representativeness requirement imposed by the EU's PRODCOM Regulation, or at least 90 per cent of the production value of each manufacturing industry must be included in the statistics. Thus, information on manufacturing production is, as a rule, collected from all establishments of enterprises with at least ten persons. In addition, in some manufacturing industries the inquiry also includes some smaller establishments of enterprises in order to fulfil the EU's representativeness criteria. The frame of the inquiry, the targeted enterprises and the sample are described in more detail in the quality description of the statistics under 2. Methodological description of statistical survey (only in Finnish).

Data on materials and supplies, their purchases and total use are inquired with a separate form from all manufacturing establishments of enterprises with at least 20 persons. The material and supply data reported by data providers are not as comprehensive as production data anyway because the filling in instructions of material and supply data requests to report at least 80 per cent of purchases and 100 per cent of total use for the titles in which total use is inquired. So at least the most important materials and supplies used in production during the calendar year are collected from the units supplying the data.

Material and supply data are currently only collected for uneven statistical reference years starting from the statistical reference year 2013. Thus, the first statistical reference year that was skipped was 2014.


An enterprise refers to an economic activity carried out by one or more persons for profit-making purposes. The identifier for an enterprise (legal unit) is generally the Business ID (business and organisation code, see used in various authority and other systems.

Local kind of activity unit (Establishment)

An establishment refers to an economic unit, which under one ownership or control produces commodities of mainly one particular type usually at one location. The establishment code used in the statistics on manufacturing commodities, as a main rule, follows the establishment code issued and used for the establishment in Statistics Finland's Register of Enterprises and Establishments. The responses describe the establishment or the combination of establishments, which is linked to the establishment code concerned in the statistics on manufacturing commodities. A combination of establishments may include all industrial establishments of an enterprise.

Measurement unit

The measurement units for volume data (of them 0 to 2 per product heading) are visible in the StatFin database tables right after the product heading text in brackets, in the form (primary measurement unit / secondary measurement unit), e.g. (kg / m2 or (kg / -).

In the commodity inquiry, volume data can be asked on the commodity heading for one or two measurement units or no volume data at all. If two items of volume data are asked, data suppliers should reply to both of them.

Nearly 40 different measurement units are in use. Therefore, there are great restrictions to summing up volume data.

Measurement units can describe weight or gross tonnage, length, area, capacity, number (item or pair), power and energy, gross caloric value, etc.

In the product data, the primary measurement unit is the measurement unit required by the EU. This also concerns both the volume of sold production and total production.

The secondary measurement unit in the product data is the measurement unit used for national needs. The motive is often that data suppliers can give volume data precisely for that measurement unit. This also concerns the volume data of both sold production and total production. If secondary volume data are not inquired, the corresponding measurement unit is indicated with a hyphen (-).

If the primary measurement unit is indicated with a hyphen (-), volume data are not inquired at all for the product heading concerned. Then it is either a question of a service heading or a heading with a very heterogenic content, such as a residual category heading on which data cannot be asked only for one measurement unit.

For a small number of production headings the primary and/or secondary measurement unit changes compared with the year before. Measurement units may change places or a new measurement unit may take the place of a missing secondary measurement unit.

The measurement unit in materials and supplies data: Only one measurement unit (and one item of volume data) per commodity heading is used in these data. The measurement units were selected based on Statistics Finland's needs. The measurement units in the volume data of materials and supplies do not vary as much as in the product data (production data).

Nomenclature of materials and supplies

The nomenclature of materials and supplies used in statistics on commodities was compiled on the basis of the statistical classification of products by activity (CPA) of the European Communities, adapting it to national needs. The first four digits describe a producing economic activity (nomenclature TOL2008, TOL2002 or TOL95 depending on the reference year). The length of the codes varies between six to eight digits.

Production nomenclature

Since 1997, the classification of commodity headings referred to in the statistics on manufacturing commodities has been based on the PRODCOM classification of industrial production of the European Union updated annually. The PRODCOM classification contains 8-digit product headings.

It does not include all product groups, for which reason it is supplemented with additional national headings. Some of the PRODCOM headings are also divided into national subheadings. The national product heading codes comprise 10 digits. The first four digits of the codes correspond to the code of the standard industrial classification of the European Communities (NACE Rev. 2) and thus to the first four digits of Statistics Finland's industrial classification TOL 2008. The first six digits of the code correspond to the Classification of Products by Activity (CPA) of the European Communities.

Purchased materials and supplies

Purchased materials and supplies refer to raw materials, semi-finished products, additional materials and supplies purchased from outside the enterprise for production in the calendar year. The value and volume are inquired.

Sold output

In the statistics on manufacturing commodities, sold output refers to the output manufactured by an enterprise or its establishment and sold outside the enterprise during the calendar year irrespective of the date of production.

Sold output also includes sale from stock. The value or quantity of sold output does not include selling of such goods that have been sold as such, without further processing, to other enterprises (merchandise).

Statistical unit

The statistical unit is an enterprise or establishment, whose principal activity is industry (TOL 2008 main category B or C). Thus, even establishments of non-industrial enterprises engaged in industrial activity are included in the inquiry. The smallest industrial enterprises are excluded from the population of the statistics and the sampling frame of the inquiry. The frame of the inquiry, the targeted enterprises and the sample are described in more detail in the quality description of the statistics under 2. Methodological description of statistical survey.


Tolling refers to contract-based service smelting / smelting against a fee of concentrates (e.g. copper, nickel). The smelter processes the raw materials or concentrates owned by its agreement partner, delivers the products to the agreement partner or end customer and charges the agreement partner for the smelting service.

Total production

The volume of total production refers to the output manufactured by the enterprise or its establishment during the calendar year. It comprises sold production and production intended to be sold, output produced for stock as well as output that either is being, will be or has been reprocessed by the enterprise. Data on total production for a calendar year are inquired, in addition to data on sold production, only in the case of separately defined commodities. Only the volume and not the value of total production is usually reported.

Data on total production are inquired as complementary data on those production/commodity headings on which the data on sold production (i.e. sales) are not thought to describe actual manufacturing sufficiently.

Volume of total production = the volume of output produced during the statistical reference year irrespective of whether it is produced for sale or further processing within the same legal unit.

If total production is inquired from the product heading concerned, it is inquired either for the needs of Eurostat or Statistics Finland.

Total use

In the statistics on manufacturing commodities, total consumption (total use) of materials and supplies includes raw materials, semi-finished products, additives and supplies purchased for production purposes from outside the enterprise in the calendar year, as well as goods manufactured to be further processed within the enterprise. The volume is inquired.

Data on total consumption are inquired as complementary data on those commodity headings of materials and supplies whose sales are not thought to describe sufficiently the actual consumption of materials and supplies.

Volume of total consumption = the volume of materials and supplies purchased for production during the statistical reference year + the volume of materials and supplies manufactured in the same legal unit for further processing.

If total consumption is inquired from a commodity heading of materials and supplies concerned, it is inquired only for the needs of Statistics Finland.

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Industrial output [e-publication].
ISSN=2489-3226. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 16.7.2019].
Access method: