The KNSO Homepage is a Data Warehouse.
Reporter of the Munhwa Daily
Economic statistics on industrial production, prices and employment are fundamental data to be used for the better understanding of current business trends. Does the general public properly read and understand these statistics that are produced by the KNSO? The following questions were asked of Kim, Min-kyung, deputy commissioner of the KNSO. She recently became the first deputy commissioner of the KNSO as a result of her distinguished services at the KNSO. This is a prestigious post among public officials on the first-grade level.
What statistics does the KNSO produce and release?
Currently, the KNSO produces 53 kinds of statistics. Every month it releases 5 kinds of economic statistics such as Industrial Activities, Service Industry Activity Indexes, Consumer Prices, Employment Statistics and Consumer Sentiment Indicators. Household Income and Expenditure Trends are released every quarter. In addition, the KNSO compiles annual statistics on particular industries such as Mining & Manufacturing, and Construction. Besides, 450 kinds of statistics are produced by 136 organizations (e.g. the Bank of Korea, the Ministry of Labour, Kookmin Bank).
- In which method does the KNSO carry out surveys?
There are two ways of carrying out surveys. One is survey statistics and the other is analysis statistics. Firstly, field personnel visit households or establishments in order to collect data. As for industrial production, they survey the output of 647 items every month and compute indexes by applying a weighted average according to item. On the other hand, composite indexes of business indicators are calculated by reprocessing many kinds of basic statistics.
- People sometimes find discrepancies between data by the KNSO and those by the other organizations.
These discrepancies are caused by the difference in basic data and coverage. An example of these dissimilarities exist in the Equipment Investment Indexes. When producing indexes, the Bank of Korea surveys 75 sectors from an inter-industry relation table every quarter, while the KNSO covers 63 sectors every month. Despite this difference, the indexes from the Bank of Korea don't greatly differ from those from the KNSO.
- What statistics are useful for grasping current business trends?
Statistics concerning current business trends are included in Industrial Activities, which cover overall production, consumption and investment. Service Industry Activity Indexes, Employment Statistics and Exports & Imports Statistics are useful fundamental data, as well. Coincident and Leading Composite Indexes represent current business conditions. Consumer Sentiment Indicators represent consumers' current and future sentiment. All of these statistics are correlated with each other.
- Can you give the general public a suggestion as to how to use the data supplied by the KNSO?
The KNSO Homepage (www.nso.go.kr) is an excellent source of data providing a warehouse of information. In particular, the KOrean Statistical Information System (KOSIS) contains both domestic and international statistics. Statistical users can obtain raw data from the KOSIS. Moreover, they can analyze and process data by type or by period through the KOSIS.
- When reading statistics, what should statistical users pay attention to?
Users should pay attention to the purpose, method, coverage, and compiling period of statistics. In addition, as for monthly and quarterly data, it is recommended that users refer to seasonally adjusted indexes, which reflect seasonal variation. Statistical consumers should also be cognizant of situations that might affect indexes such as major holidays, strikes, localized downpours, and typhoons.
* Source: January 12th, 2006, the Munhwa Daily