8 January 2020
Starting with the year 2020, the Czech Statistical Office (CZSO) has changed both the terminology and the manner in which data is presented for international trade statistics of the Czech Republic. Prior to 2020, data based on the change of ownership between residents and non-residents had been referred to as data for the “national concept of external trade”. However, this data, from a macroeconomic point of view, now better expresses the real foreign trade of the Czech Republic and thus, from now on, it will be referred to as “international trade in goods (change of ownership)”. Furthermore, external trade is now referred to as international trade.
Cross-border movements of goods (referred to, pre-2020, as the “cross-border concept of external trade”) will continue to be an important data source for international trade in goods statistics. From now on, this data will only be called “cross-border movements of goods”, and thus, the title will no longer include the words “external trade”.
The change applies only to the terminology employed. There is no change as regards the methodology, the way how data is compiled and no changes are being made to the data as such. As mentioned above, prior to 2020, the CZSO had referred to two types of data representing two concepts of external trade (the cross-border concept and the national-concept). The change should therefore eliminate any confusion that had existed.
The rebranding of international trade statistics will be reflected in the modification of the terminology used in the publications, news releases, databases, and other outputs of the CZSO connected with international trade in goods statistics and statistics on cross-border movements of goods. The change will be implemented gradually. Web pages devoted to international trade statistics will be changed first, followed by monthly news releases. The change of terminology will be completed in March 2020, when data for January 2020 will be released.
The CZSO decided to implement this change mainly based on the results and recommendations resulting from a methodological audit, which confirmed that the traditional data on cross-border movements of goods has been gradually less and less able to reflect the realized trade (change of ownership) between Czech and foreign entities. This is due not only to the integration of the Czech Republic in the EU single market, but also due to the Czech Republic’s geographical position.