Consulting Engineering Services Price Index (CESPI)

Detailed information for 2007

Status:

Inactive

Frequency:

Annual

Record number:

2328

The Consulting Engineering Services Price Index series (CESPI) is an annual survey of consulting engineers in Canada, collecting financial and wage information that is used to produce price indexes measuring changes in prices for consulting engineer services.

Data release - November 4, 2009; July 20, 2010 (revised); December 8, 2010 (revised)

Description

The Consulting Engineering Services Price Index series (CESPI) is an annual survey of consulting engineers in Canada, collecting financial and wage information that is used to produce price indexes measuring changes in prices for consulting engineer services. The CESPI series is a useful indicator of economic activity in the consulting engineering services industry, and can also prove helpful as a supplementary tool for performance evaluation, cost monitoring, contract assessment and benchmark comparisons. In addition, the indexes are used by the Canadian System of National Accounts to arrive at estimates of real value output for the industry through deflation.

Statistical activity

These indexes are a part of the Services Producer Price Index program (SPPI) at Statistics Canada.

The SPPI program develops and produces price indexes for a number of business service categories. This initiative fills an important data gap in the area of economic statistics, has resulted in a more comprehensive set of service price indexes, and allows Statistics Canada to produce more accurate estimates of real value added Gross Domestic Product and changes in productivity.

Reference period: The time period for which the CESPI equals 100; currently this is the year 1997.

Subjects

  • Business, consumer and property services
  • Prices and price indexes
  • Professional, scientific and technical services
  • Service price indexes

Data sources and methodology

Target population

Under the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), this industry consists of establishments primarily engaged in:

- NAICS 54133 Engineering Services (may involve any of the following activities: the provision of advice, the preparation of feasibility studies, the preparation of preliminary and final plans and designs, the provision of technical services during the construction or installation phase, the inspection and evaluation of engineering projects, and related services).

Instrument design

The questionnaire used for the CESPI was developed and tested in consultation with numerous respondents and experts in the consulting engineering industry.

Sampling

This is a sample survey with a longitudinal design.

The survey sample is selected from the Statistics Canada Business Register. In the most recent sample, establishments were grouped by region, sorted by revenue, removing those below the regional income cut-off and chosen by intervals. These firms are selected so as to ensure that firms in each field of specialization and province will be surveyed.

For the CESPI, the target population consists of all establishments primarily engaged in consulting engineering services as identified on Statistics Canada's Business Register. The sample size is approximately 400 establishments.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents and derived from other Statistics Canada surveys.

The instrument used for data collection is a mail out questionnaire. When respondents are initially contacted, and when completing the questionnaire itself, they are requested to provide the most convenient month in which to complete the survey in the future. During the collection process, contacts with the respondent take place when questionnaires are late or the responses provided require clarification. In the case of late respondents, several follow-up contacts can be made including sending out a reminder letter in order to obtain their response. The data remains outstanding and collectible for the current calendar year and up to two previous periods. Thus, revisions to the indexes may take place for the two periods prior to the reference year as late data is received and incorporated.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

A set of systematized error detection procedures are in place to identify outliers and possible reporting errors. For example, a larger than average increase or decrease in the price of a contract will trigger a follow up with the respondent.

Imputation

For the preliminary data, estimates are imputed for respondents who were unable to respond on time, provided some unreliable reported values, or ceased their activities during the year. The imputation is carried out using the mean values for revenues per stratum (weighted or non-weighted according to stratum) for missing observations. Late responses are incorporated in the revised CESPI.

Estimation

Weights

The weights are based on fee income by field of specialization from the Annual Survey of Engineering Services (Survey ID 2439) Survey of Consulting Engineers, distributed by region using data from the Survey on Capital and Repair Expenditures (Survey ID 2803). If there are insufficient observations to produce an index, data for a related field of specialization in the same region may be imputed. The weights are updated every two years.

Prices

The prices collected for the CESPI represent the input costs of labour and the realized profit for the firm. The labour cost is calculated as the geometric mean of the firm's wage rates for the year, while the profit portion reported is used to derive the realized net multiplier. Both of these inputs are then combined using an unweighted average to arrive at a total price index.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Collected data are converted to price indexes and data are released as such, so that it is not possible to identify the suppliers of raw prices.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

The most recent two years of published indexes are subject to revision.

Data accuracy

The statistical accuracy of this index depends on price and weight data. Price data are obtained from a sample survey and the weight information is obtained from the Annual Survey of Engineering Services Consulting Engineers, distributed by region using data from the Survey on Capital and Repair Expenditures. Both kinds of input data are subject therefore to their own errors. The quality of the price data rests on the response rate and degree of imputation. In this regard, the quality of the price information is judged to be high, as the response rate is about 87% and degree of imputation is minimal (i.e. less than 5%).

Though the CESPI uses a sample survey methodology to obtain the necessary information, confidence intervals are not currently estimated, due to the longitudinal nature of price index series. Indexes for higher and lower levels of aggregation are considered to be statistically reliable.

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