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Quarterly Wholesale Trade Survey – information for participants

Why are you carrying out this survey?

We survey to determine the performance of the wholesale trade in New Zealand. Wholesale trade:

  • acts as an intermediary between manufacturers and secondary processors and consumers
  • is an important measure of the economy
  • is used by the government (notably the Treasury and the Reserve Bank) to monitor economic performance of wholesaling industries
  • is an important component of Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
  • is used by business and industry commentators to monitor economic trends and business outlook.

Who takes part in the survey? How did you select me?

There are nearly 17,000 businesses within the wholesale trade industry. At the end of each calendar quarter, we select large businesses in the industry and also sample a small proportion of businesses for stock holdings. The number of survey participants varies each quarter, usually between 400 and 500 businesses, and covers the following sub-industries:

  • basic material wholesaling
  • machinery and equipment wholesaling
  • motor-vehicle and motor-vehicle parts wholesaling
  • grocery, liquor, and tobacco products wholesaling
  • other goods wholesaling
  • commission-based wholesaling.

What if my business is not engaged in wholesaling?

Sometimes the framework we use to classify a business may differ from how a business describes its activities. For instance, in general, wholesaling relates to industries that buy and sell goods on their own behalf.

In some cases, a business may be engaged in selling goods on behalf of others and derive a commission from the sales.

We include this commission agent in the wholesale industry, even though they may not hold or own stock. So if your business is a commission agent, your business may be included in the survey.

There can also be confusion about retail and wholesale business classifications. A wholesale business sells to other businesses, while a retailer sells to individuals and households.

Which businesses are surveyed?

From September 2015, we are using more GST data in place of surveying small businesses. As a result we have reduced the number of businesses we survey by about 25 percent. Some businesses in the previous sample are still in the new sample; these are large businesses or those that are unusual in their industry segment. We also sample a small proportion of businesses for their stock holdings.

When do you carry out the survey?

The survey is carried out every quarter.

How can I complete the survey questionnaire?

You can complete the survey questionnaire by filling in the online form.

What do I need to complete the survey online?

Most computers and browsers can be used to complete the survey online. The survey has been tested and optimised for the following internet browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 10 and 11
  • Firefox 47.0 and above
  • Google Chrome v51.0.27 and above
  • Safari 5.1.7 and above

The minimum security requirement is using an SSL enabled browser capable of 128 bit encryption.

Can I print out my survey?

Yes, you can print out your survey.  

  • At any stage when you are completing the questionnaire, you can do this using your internet browser’s print function.
  • You can also print out your questionnaire with the information you have entered immediately after you submit it, just print the page 'thanking you for the submission' and it will include the questionnaire.

However there are limitations on what you can print.

  • Due to browser limitations and differences, you might not be able to print all of the questionnaire and your answers.
  • Once you have completed the survey and leave the survey website you will not be able to access the information you have submitted to Statistics NZ.

Page updated 18 October 2016

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