Statistics Mauritius (SM) is currently undertaking a Census of Economic Activities (CEA) - the first phase covering a sample of small entities was undertaken in 2018 and the second phase covering all large entities is ongoing. For the first time, the economic census is being carried out through on-line questionnaire available at https://cealarge2018.govmu.org
What is Census of Economic Activities
The Census of Economic Activities is a complete enumeration of all business entities in the country. Detailed information such as characteristics of business, employment, type of outputs, type of inputs, local sales and exports, services produced for local consumption and for exports, goods sent abroad for processing, goods received from abroad for processing, and capital assets are collected with a view to having a complete and up-to-date picture of economic activities in the country, essential with the ongoing and rapid changes in the economic scenery.
Given the intensity of a census data collection, like the Population Census which is carried out every ten years, this complete enumeration of all business entities is carried out once every five years.
Objectives of the Census of Economic Activities
The aim is to obtain directly from the economic operators detailed and up-to-date information on the performance of the different industries in Mauritius and Rodrigues, their business models and their operating structures. Such information is essential to validate estimates of quarterly and annual Gross Domestic Production (GDP), growth rates and productivity and its assessment of sector developments, inter-industry linkages and supply chains, and the evolution of the national economy in general.
Intercensal estimates of GDP are based on the results of the five yearly CEA, supplemented with annual economic survey data and other administrative data sources. The 2018 Census of Economic Activities will provide new insights to update the GDP intercensal estimates, and a basis for future estimates.
More complexed statistical tools such Supply and Use Table (SUT) and Input Output Table (IOT) can only be computed from the results of a detailed census of economic activities. Both tools contribute to a good understanding of each industry's output, including the relationships between the output of products and the output of industries, and the extent of diversification within industries. The interdependencies of industries as presented in these tools allow the measurement of the direct, indirect and induced effects of policy measures, needed for impact analysis.
Strict confidentiality of data collected
SM operates under the Statistics Act and conforms with the Data Protection Act. It therefore has the obligation to keep all information collected secure and confidential. Information which enables identification of individual business will not be accessible to any other person or organisation. Thus, only totals, averages and ratios will be published, so that the particulars of any business entities will NOT be revealed in any way
How can businesses use the CEA data
On the basis of the response received, Statistics Mauritius publishes a report on the Census of Economic Activities containing, inter alia, tables on industrial production accounts.
Businesses can use such detailed production accounts to assess their share in terms of output/employment in their line of activities. Furthermore, operational ratios and indicators such as input to output can be used for assessing business efficiency and productivity vis a vis other businesses operating in the same sector, while other data can be helpful for market research and during negotiations on industry-specific measures with the authorities.
It is obvious that the higher the response rate and the more accurate the information submitted by respondents, the more reliable and useful will be those statistics.
Appeal of the MCCI to its members to participate in the CEA
The Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) strongly urges its members to participate in the Census of Economic Activities. All data collected will be useful for the different industries and will be important for policy decision. Statistics Mauritius will be needing the input of all companies and their support to better serve them.