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Answers for Frequently Asked Questions on Monthly Survey on Service Industries

What is the Monthly Survey on Service Industries?

1. Why does the Monthly Survey on Service Industries need to be conducted?

Recently, Japan's economy and society have been undergoing significant changes as can be seen in the development of the service-oriented economy. Service industries have been becoming more and more important, for example the service industries account for about 70% of GDP as well as the number of employees.

However, adequate statistics to understand the entire picture of these trends had not been in place, and the understanding of the trends of the entire service industry had become an urgent issue facing the government.

Under these circumstances, in the "Basic Policies for Economic and Fiscal Management and Structural Reform 2006" (Cabinet Decision on July 7, 2006), the statement that "service statistics will drastically be expanded, such as creation in FY2008 of statistics that enable the comprehensive understanding of the situation regarding production and employment of the entire service industry on a monthly basis" was made and successive Cabinet Decisions were made.

Following these Cabinet Decisions, Statistics Bureau of Japan established "the Monthly Survey on Service Industries" starting in July 2008.

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2. What kind of survey is the Monthly Survey on Service Industries?

"The Monthly Survey on Service Industries" is a survey that has been conducted on a monthly basis since July 2008 for the purpose of contributing to improving the accuracy of various economic indicators primarily for GDP (Gross Domestic Product), and planning and formulating policies regarding service industries as well as implementing studies and making decisions on economic activities in the private sector. It does this by grasping the trends of the entire production, and the number of employees of service industries.

From 2013, the survey is further enhanced through the review of its details, including the understanding of demand trends, partial introduction of a survey on each enterprise, and the grasping of region-by region (by prefecture) results by the start of the annual survey.

Outline of the survey

Scale of survey

Monthly survey (every month): The survey covers around 13,000 enterprises and around 26,000 establishments in the service industry.

Annual survey (every June): About 43,000 establishments are added to the sample of the monthly survey.

Survey items

Monthly survey: Monthly sales, demand trends, number of persons working at the location of establishment, etc. are surveyed.

Annual survey: Annual sales (for surveys covering enterprises, by prefecture), number of persons working at the location of establishment, etc. are surveyed.

Survey Method

Questionnaires are distributed and collected by mail (answering via the Internet is also possible depending on the request).

The survey is conducted by private research institutes.

Release of survey results

The results of the monthly survey are posted on the website of the Statistics Bureau at the end of every month (released as a "preliminary report" in late the second month after the survey and a "final report" in late the fifth month after the survey).

The results of the annual survey are posted on the website of the Statistics Bureau (released as a "preliminary report" in December of the survey year and a "final report" around autumn of the next year).

Industries surveyed

  • Information and communications
    Mobile phone services, broadcast stations, software development, Internet shopping site operations, newspaper companies, film/TV program production companies, etc.

  • Transport and postal activities

    Railways, route buses, taxi companies, cargo distributors, home-delivery services, luggage room services, packing services, air transport, etc.

  • Real estate and goods rental and leasing

    Land trade, land and building intermediation, rental video services, weekly condominium rental and leasing, parking lots, real estate management, rental cars, etc.

  • Scientific research, professional and technical services

    Architectural design offices, legal professional corporation offices, administrative procedures specialist offices, management consultants, photo studios, advertising agents, etc.

  • Accommodations, eating and drinking services

    Coffee shops, hotels, inns, bachelor dormitories, Chinese restaurants, Japanese style pubs, family restaurants, sushi bars, soba restaurants, etc.

  • Living-related and personal services and amusement services

    Hair-dressing and beauty salons, barbershops, laundry services, public baths, ceremonial occasions, cinemas, karaoke boxes, etc.

  • Education, learning support

    Supplementary tutorial schools, citizen's public halls, piano classes, libraries, swimming schools, museums, zoological gardens, aquariums, etc.

  • Medical, health care and welfare

    Hospitals, physicians, dental clinics, home care services, anma (traditional Japanese massage) and massage, elder nursing homes, day nurseries, municipal health centers, etc.

  • Services , n.e.c.

    Automobile maintenance services, waste disposal businesses, paper hangers, guard services, worker dispatching services, building maintenance services, building cleaning services, etc.

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3. How are the results of survey used?

The results of the Monthly Survey on Service Industries are expected to be used broadly for improvement of the accuracy of various economic indicators such as GDP, as well as the industrial policies and policies for SMEs at the national government or local governments, researches at universities and research institutes, and the grasping of market trends and management strategies at enterprises.

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Coverage of the survey

4. How are the surveyed entities selected?

In the Monthly Survey on Service Industries, the necessary number of establishments (about 26,000 establishments across Japan*) is selected by industry and scale using the statistical method (based on statistical theories).

In addition, all large-scale enterprises (capital of 100 million yen or more) that have a significant impact on the figures of the entire nation and all enterprises in particular industries are selected (about 13,000 enterprises across Japan).

* Only once a year, 40 thousand establishments are added.

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5. Why are not all tertiary industries surveyed?

There are some industries (electricity, gas, heat supply, water services, wholesalers and retailers) for which business statistics and other statistical survey results can be used. In this case, we use the existing results, etc.

In addition, there are some industries (financial services, insurance services, etc.) which are different from other industries in terms of the concept of sales and the details of business. In this case, such industries are excluded from the survey.

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Schedule of release

6. When are the results of survey released?

The preliminary results are released in late the second month after the month when questionnaires are distributed (month of the survey).

In addition, to provide more accurate statistical information, we tabulate the results again using all questionnaires including those collected after the release of the preliminary results, and release a final report in late the fifth month after the survey month.

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