Wholesale trade

Period: Annual
Year: 2022

01. Contact
02. Metadata update
03. Statistical presentation
04. Unit of measure
05. Reference Period
06. Institutional Mandate
07. Confidentiality
08. Release policy
09. Frequency of dissemination
10. Accessibility and clarity
11. Quality management
12. Relevance
13. Accuracy and reliability
14. Timeliness and punctuality
15. Coherence and comparability
16. Cost and Burden
17. Data revision
18. Statistical processing
19. Comment

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01. ContactTop
01.1. Contact organisation

Statistical office of the Republic of Serbia

01.2. Contact organisation unit

Domestic Trade, Catering and Tourism Statistics Division 

01.3. Contact name

Sonja Radoičić

01.4. Contact person function

Statistician methodologist in Domestic trade statistics unit

01.5. Contact mail address

Milana Rakića 5, Belgrade

01.6. Contact email address


01.7. Contact phone number

(+381) 11 2412 922/ext. 216

01.8. Contact fax number


02. Metadata updateTop
02.1. Metadata last certified
02.2. Metadata last posted
02.3. Metadata last update

03. Statistical presentationTop
03.1. Data description

Data on wholesale trade turnover are collected by the statistical survey "Quarterly survey on wholesale trade" (Form Trg-16KV). The survey collects the following data: turnover (including VAT), calculated VAT, number of employees, supplies and turnover for 30 commodity groups. The purpose of the quarterly survey on wholesale trade is to provide the data necessary for monitoring the volume and dynamics of the turnover, as well as for analysing the effects of measures on the overall trade policy; they are part of the results for the distribution trade (CA divisions 45, 46 and 47).

03.2. Classification system

- Classification of Activities 2010 (“Official Gazette of RS”, No 54/10), it is completely harmonized with the Statistical Classification of Economic Aclivities in EU- NACE Rev.2.

         - Nomenclature of Statistical Territorial Units.

03.3. Coverage - sector

The coverage of the survey is a set of enterprises (legal persons) with main activity classified into section Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, division Wholesale trade, except trade of motor vehicles and motorcycles (division 46 of NACE  Rev. 2.). Also, a certain number of enterprises whose main activity is not in Wholesale trade (division 46 of NACE Rev. 2.), but that make significant turnover in Wholesale trade are included.

03.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

Turnover in wholesale trade presents the value of sold goods, for the purpose of further selling (to trade enterprises and shops dealing with retail trade, selling to other wholesale traders) for further processing of goods, as well as goods sale to huge consumers for personal consumption, only on domestic market, including value added tax (VAT). Only trade goods is expressed, not the sale of own products. The wholesale trade turnover includes the sale of goods from consignment warehouses, as well as transit turnover (if it is recorded in the bookkeeping as wholesale trade), that is, the sale of goods delivered directly to the buyer from the warehouse or other destination of the producer, importer or other enterprise without prior storage of goods. It also covers services in the goods turnover (agency, intermediary, agent, commission, etc.). Goods turnover by commodity groups, with VAT included, presents the value of goods by the structure of the sales assortment. Separated commodity groups are in line with the Classification of Products by Activities (CPA). The data on stocks are the value ​​of goods, at purchase prices, located in warehouses and warehouses of the enterprises, as of the end of the observed period, excluding VAT. The number of employees implies the persons who worked (as of the end of the observed period) in a business entity, had a contract of employment for definite or indefinite period and were paid for their work. This number includes business owners, partners, as well as paid family members.

03.5. Statistical unit

The statistical unit of observation and the reporting unit is the enterprise (business entity). 

03.6. Statistical population

The target statistical population includes all economically active business entities with main activity classified into Wholesale trade (division 46 of NACE Rev.2.). Also, population includes a certain number of entities which main activity is not in Wholesale trade but that make a significant turnover in this activity division. 

Sampling frame is based on Statistical Business Register (SBR), which includes about 19500 enterprises involved in Wholesale trade that have reported annual financial statements for 2020. The smallest enterprises according to reported annual financial statements were excluded from the sampling frame. The sampling frame included about 5950 enterprises.

03.7. Reference area

All indices are calculated for the level of Republic of Serbia – total (NSTU 0) and are expressed at current prices.

Note: Starting from 1999 the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia has not at disposal and may not provide available certain data relative to AP Kosovo and Metohija and therefore these data are not included in the coverage for the Republic of Serbia (total).

03.8. Coverage - Time

For all series of indices, data are available from the first quarter of 2005 onwards. Historical time series for the period 2005-2010 are calculated in accordance with 2010 Classification of Activities, so they can be considered continuous.    

03.9. Base period

Base year is 2015.

04. Unit of measureTop
04. Unit of measure

Data on turnover (and VAT) are collected in thousand RSD.

Only indices at current prices are disseminated in quarterly periodicity. On annual level, absolute figures are also issued.

05. Reference PeriodTop
05. Reference Period

Reference period is a calendar quarter.

06. Institutional MandateTop
06.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

Conducting of the statistical surveys stated in point 3.1 is based on the following legal acts of the Republic of Serbia:

- Law on Official Statistics

- Decision on the Programme of the Official Statistics

- Regulation on establishing the Plan of the Official Statistics for current year

- Regulation on the Classification of Activities

Legal acts and other documents are available on SORS website:



06.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing


07. Confidentiality Top
07.1. Confidentiality - policy

Data confidentiality is stipulated by:

- Official Statistics Law (Official Gazette of RS, No 104/2009),


- Rulebook on statistical data protection in the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia

(http://www.stat.gov.rs/media/2294/rulebook-on-statistical-data-protection-in-sors.doc) and

- Guidelines on measures of data and informatio protection in the Statistical Office of the Republic og Serbia


European legislation: Regulatio (EC) No 223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2009 on European statistics.

07.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

Confidential data may be used for statistical purposes only. Confidential statistical data are individual data as well as aggregates on which the data holder may be recognized in any way.

Confidential data are considered official secret and cannot be published or communicated, that is, they cannot be part of aggregated data from which individual data can be identified.

When processing confidential data for users’ needs, data protection must be provided so that individual data cannot be identified on either level of aggregated data. 

08. Release policyTop
08.1. Release calendar

Release Calendar is publicly accessible on SORS website, for the whole coming year.

08.2. Release calendar access

Release Calendar is available on SORS website:  http://www.stat.gov.rs/calendar/

08.3. Release policy - user access

Survey results are simultaneously obtainable to all users under equal conditions.   

09. Frequency of disseminationTop
09. Frequency of dissemination

Periodicity of data publishing (in the form of indices) is quarterly.

10. Accessibility and clarityTop
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

Data are not published in the form of news release.

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

In quarterly statistical release “Domestic trade”, published are data on domestic trade for CA divisions 45, 46 and 47.

“Statistical Yearbook of the Republic of Serbia” - an comprehensive annual publication compiles all final data and series of the most important indicators from different areas of economic and social life of the country;

“Statistical Pocketbook of the RS” - an edition that offers the principal statistical data on national social and economic development.   

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Wholesale trade data (annual indicators) are available in the Statistical Database in scope of the statistical area of Domestic Trade:


10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Micro-data are not disseminated to users.

10.5. Dissemination format - other


10.6. Documentation on methodology

Methodological explanations and statistical questionnaires on wholesale trade are available on the website:



10.7. Quality management - documentation


11. Quality managementTop
11.1. Quality assurance

Following the model of the European Statistical System, and in accordance with the mission and vision, as well as the Quality Policy, the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia strives to harmonize statistical production with the European Code of Practice (CoP).

The quality management system of the Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia is based on the European Statistics Code of Practice and is fully adapted to statistical needs, because the quality of statistical processes is being systematically improved, as well as the final results, i.e. data, and the provision of services to users.

The document Quality Policy is available on SORS website:


11.2. Quality management - assessment

Statistical activities are focused on the monitoring of main aspects of quality within the organization of statistical researches (data collection, coverage, data processing, timeliness ...).


Quality of data and conducting of researches are monitored at all stages of work. The obtained assessments on the quality of the research flow and the final evaluations are at a satisfactory level. This is supported by regular analysis of data by competent statisticians  from the Internal Trade Division, experts from the field of samples, time series, information technologies, and colleagues from the National Accounts Statistics.


12. Relevance Top
12.1. User needs

The main data users are state administration bodies (Government, Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, Ministry of Finance), Chamber of Commerce, business entities, economic analysts, media representatives, researchers, students, internal users (National accounts statistics), international users (Eurostat).

12.2. User satisfaction

SORS conducts the Users Satisfaction Survey. The results are available on SORS:.



12.3. Completeness

Definitions of basic variables and methodology on data collecting are mostly adjusted to Eurostat recommendations regarding short – term indicators (Council Regulation No. 1165/98 ANEX D). The data are not seasonally adjusted, presenting the main deviation from international standards.  

13. Accuracy and reliabilityTop
13.1. Overall accuracy

The main sources of errors in this survey are of sampling and non-sampling nature.

The survey is based on the random sample. Sampling frame is constructed using enterprise data from the Statistical Business Register (SBR).

The sample design is such that the estimates for the main domains are of satisfactory precision.

The following non-sampling errors exist in this survey:

·  coverage errors that are a due to not completely updated SBR and existing time lag in registering the changes of enterprise characteristics;

·  errors that are a consequence of cut-off sampling, smallest enterprises are excluded from the sampling frame;

·  measurement and non-response errors are inevitable, but the process of data collection and data entry are controlled to reduce these errors. 

The bias of the outcome resulting from these errors is low. Data on wholesale trade turnover are the result of the estimation of turnover from the statistical survey. They are published 60 days after the reference quarter.

13.2. Sampling error

Sampling errors of quaterly turnover estimates are presented by the corresponding coefficients of variation for the estimation domains. Sampling weights that are used in estimation are corrected for non-response.

The coefficient of variation for the estimated total turnover achieved in the NACE Rev.2 division G46 at the overall level for the Republic of Serbia is 2.0%.

Average coefficient of variation (%) in 2022

Republic of Serbia


Region of Belgrade


Region of Sumadija and West Serbia


Region of South and East Serbia


Region of Vojvodina



13.3. Non-sampling error

Non-sampling errors can be defined as errors arising during the course of all survey activities. Non-sampling errors can arise from: coverage errors, non-response, processing, etc.

The magnitude of the under-coverage error is not computed but is not considered significant. These errors are mainly caused by not up to date Statistical Business Register that is used for constructing the sampling frame.

The smallest enterprises according to turnover are excluded from the sampling frame (cut-off).

The over-coverage and non-response errors are computed using the coded information on response that is classified in 9 categories: 

  • Runs business, submits report;
  • Runs business, refuses to submit a report;
  • Not found (undeliverable questionnaire);
  • Closed, extinguished;
  • Blocked, not working;
  • Outside the scope of survey (does not perform selected activity);
  • Bankruptcy;
  • Liquidation;
  • Other reasons (e.g. organizational changes).

In order to reduce non-sampling errors caused by human errors, the following measures are undertaken: collected data are entered in the PC application that represents the so-called "controlled entry". During this phase, the program does not allow the entry of false data. The next step is the release of the program for computation- logical control. Further steps in data editing are based on the analysis of statistical experts and resulting with correction of discovered errors. If necessary, reporting unit is contacted in order to get correct data. Finally, data validation is realized during analysis of the aggregates.

 Average non-response rate in 2022 at the overall level for the Republic of Serbia is 3.97%.

Average non-response rates (%) in 2022

Republic of Serbia


Region of Belgrade


Region of Sumadija and West Serbia


Region of South and East Serbia


Region of Vojvodina


Average over-coverage rate in 2022 at the overall level for the Republic of Serbia is 7.49%.

Average over-coverage rates (%) in 2022

Republic of Serbia


Region of Belgrade


Region of Sumadija and West Serbia


Region of South and East Serbia


Region of Vojvodina



14. Timeliness and punctualityTop
14.1. Timeliness

Final data of the quarterly survey are published 60 days after the end of the observed period (t+60).

14.2. Punctuality

There is no time lag between the actual delivery of the data and the target date when it should have been delivered. Deadlines are respected and data are published and delivered on time, according to the pre-announced Release calendar.

15. Coherence and comparabilityTop
15.1. Comparability - geographical

The same statistical concepts are applied for the entire territory. 

15.2. Comparability - over time

All time series of the calculated indicators are comparable over time. 

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

Collected data are checked and compared in details with the data from other sources. Comparison with VAT data does not indicate major discrepancies between available data from administrative sources and results of the survey.

Occasionally, comparisons with other statistical sources covering turnover, quarterly Structural Business Statistics data, are carried out, but it should be noted that there are certain methodological differences and some differences in definitions.

15.4. Coherence - internal

Wholesale trade data are internally coherent. In order to check the internal coherence, comparison is carried out between the data of the previous quarter and data of the reference quarter, as well as comparison of the current data with the data of the corresponding period of the previous year.

All aggregated data are derived directly from micro data.

16. Cost and BurdenTop
16. Cost and Burden

Standardized information on cost and burden is not systematically collected.

A system of coordination of random samples of business entities has been introduced, reducing the burden of small units. 

17. Data revisionTop
17.1. Data revision - policy

“General Revision Policy” is available as official policy revision of the statistical system on the website of SORS:


17.2. Data revision - practice

Significant revision was carried out in 2011 when application of the Law on Classification of Activities started ("Official Gazette of RS" No. 104/09) and the Regulation on Classification of Activities ("Official Gazette of RS", No. 54/09) - CA (2010).
Data conversion for the previous years was done by the so-called micro access. This method of calculation starts from the lowest level, i.e. the statistical unit assigned the code of activity from CA (2010), based on the correspondence table between CA (1996) and CA (2010).
Major revisions due to changes in methodology, activity classification and base year changes - data series are recalculated, and changes are not announced in advance. Revisions and explanations are given at the time of publication and data dissemination.

18. Statistical processingTop
18.1. Source data

Collected data is sample based, large and medium-size enterprises are always covered and small and micro ones are selected by random sample. 

Sample selection frame is based on Statistical Business Register data, as of 31st December 2021. It consists of a list of active enterprise data that submitted the annual financial statement for 2020. The turnover and the number of employees are key auxiliary features of enterprises whose values are taken over from final accounts.

Stratification of sample frame is done according to:

1.       Economic activity of enterprises – 2 groups of activity: First group contains enterprises with the main activity in Wholesale trade (division 46 of NACE Rev. 2.); second group contains enterprises which main activity is not Wholesale trade (division 46 of NACE Rev. 2.) but that make a significant turnover in this activity division. 

2.       Size classes of financial statements – 4 classes: large, medium, small and micro. Size classes are taken from financial statements and they are defined according to the annual turnover, number of employees and assets of the enterprise.

3.       Territorial classes – 3 classes (Serbia – South, Belgrade and Vojvodina),

4.       Amount of annual turnover.

Sample frame was divided on 98 strata and sample of 1265 units was allocated. 

18.2. Frequency of data collection

Periodicity of data collection is quarterly. 

18.3. Data collection

Data are collected by post, web questionnaires, mail and fax. The questionnaires are sent to the reporting units before the beginning of the reporting quarters.

Reporting units, according to the instructions, fill in the form TRG-16KV, using the accounting and other necessary documentation. The deadline for submitting the completed form is 15 days after the end of the reference period (quarterly). The measures used to increase the response rate are reminders sent via email and post.

18.4. Data validation

Logical accounting control is carried out by a whole set of activities during conducting of the statistical survey: first, statisticians in regional departments perform data accounting and control. Data control is done by comparing the data with the previous period as well as comparing data from the same reporting unit with related data from other statistical surveys.

18.5. Data compilation

The estimations of turnover totals and their standard errors are calculated using the standard procedure for stratified random sample (Horvitz-Thompson estimates). This means that estimates of totals are calculated by summing the weighted values from the sample. Sample weights are corrected for non-response units.    

18.6. Adjustment

Not applicable.

19. CommentTop
19. Comment

No comment.