Skip to main content

In recent years, the demand for information on the information society has increased, which has generated growing interest in statistics on subjects related with the production, use and impact of ICT and digital content services.

The conceptual framework for the statistical measurement of the information society considers four key elements:

  • The offer of ICT, which includes production companies that develop, produce and commercialise ICT goods and services and which form the so-called ICT sector.
  • The demand for ICT, which includes public and private users of information and communication technologies.
  • ICT products.
  • Digital content and services.

In terms of the offer of ICT, the publication Statistics and Accounts of the ICT Companies seeks to offer relevant information on the situation of companies in this sector on the basis of different statistical sources. Among others, it presents results for the economic activity, employees, realisation of innovative activities and expenditure on the same, in-house R&D expenditure and foreign trade involving companies in the ICT sector. The so-called ICT sector is formed by manufacturing and service industries whose main activity is associated with the development, production, commercialization and intensive use of ICT. This sector is of major relevance in terms of economic analysis, given the high rates of innovation, technological progress and productivity that characterises it.

For statistical purposes, the ICT sector can be defined by a focus on sectors (enumeration of activity branches corresponding to ICT companies) or by a focus on products (enumeration of ICT products).

To determine the list of activities and products considered part of the ICT sector, the methodology used by the OCDE and the INE in this area was employed. This presents concepts and methodologies that are harmonised with the international field.

The first definition of the ICT sector in terms of activity sectors was passed in 1998. The list of activities included in this area was created on the basis of the International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC Rev.3), in accordance with the following considerations:

  • Companies in the ICT industrial sector are those that produce goods related with communication by electronic means, for the transmission and treatment of information and the use of electronic processes for the identification and recording of physical phenomena, or for the control of physical processes.
  • Companies in the ICT services sector are those that provide services related with the communication and treatment of information by electronic means.

In 2002, a revision was made of the first definition of the ICT sector, including in it wholesale trade activities that are directly related with ICT products (computers, IT equipment and programs, and electronic and telecommunications products).

The second definition of the ICT sector was accepted in 2007. Using the ISIC Rev. 4 classification, the list of included activities was modified. It now considers companies that produce goods or offer services enabling the treatment of information and its communication by electronic means, including visual transmission and display. Table 1 presents the list of activities included in the ICT sector in terms of the ISIC Rev.4 and the CCAE-2009.

Table 1. ICT sector by focus on sectors (second definition. 2007)
Activity ISIC Rev.4 CCAE-2009
ICT manufacturing industries
Manufacture of electronic components 2610 2611
Manufacture of loaded electronic boards 2612
Manufacture of computers and peripheral equipment 2620 2620
Manufacture of telecommunication systems 2630 2630
Manufacture of electronic consumer products 2640 2640
Manufacture of magnetic and optic supports 2680 2680
Wholesale trade
Wholesale trade of computers, peripheral equipment and computer programs 4651 4651
Wholesale trade of electronic and telecommunications equipment and their components 4652 4652
ICT services
Publication of videogames 5820 5821
Publication of computer programs, except videogames 5829
Telecommunications
Cable telecommunications 6110 6110
Wireless telecommunications 6120 6120
Satellite telecommunications 6130 6130
Other telecommunications activities 6190 6190
Information technology and information service activities
Computer programming activities 6201 6201
Consultancy activities involving information technologies 6202 6202
Management of IT installations 6203
Other services related with information technologies 6209 6209
Websites, data processing, hosting and related activity
Data processing, hosting and related activities 6311 6311
Websites 6312 6312
Repair of computers and communication systems
Repair of computers and peripheral equipment 9511 9511
Repair of communication systems 9512 9512

As for the ICT sector in terms of the focus on products, the restricted definition of ICT products was used, i.e. focused on those goods that facilitate the communication, treatment and transmission of information by electronic means. This definition of the ICT sector is used in the publication to provide results for the tables Foreign Trade and Production Value of ICT Goods, in which the products of the ICT sector have been divided into 5 PRODCOM groups of products. Table 2 presents a list of the CPA-2008 classes considered in each group.

Table 2. ICT sector by focus on products
Activity CPA-2008
Telecommunication systems 2630, 2640, 2731, 2732, 2931
Computers and related equipment 2612, 2620
Electronic components 2611, 2612, 2640, 2711, 2790
Audio and video equipment 2620, 2640, 2670, 2680
Other ICT products (office machinery and equipment, medical equipment and process control systems, measurement, control and navigation instruments) 2651, 2660, 2670, 2823, 2829 i 2899

The information on the ICT sector presented in this publication was obtained from already existing statistical sources. In each of the tables, the data has been classified by the main activity of the company, i.e. the definition of the ICT sector uses a focus on sectors. In some cases, it was not possible to obtain representative results at a high level of disaggregation by activity branches and products. In these cases, it was decided to offer results in the most disaggregated manner possible while maintaining the desired level of representativeness. The statistical operations used and the main concepts are briefly described hereinafter:

1. Structural Business Statistics in the Industrial Sector and Structural Business Statistics in the Service Sector

The Structural Business Statistics in the Industrial Sector (called the Industrial Companies Survey prior to the reference year 2014) studies companies whose main activity is one of those in sections B to E of the CCAE-2009. Until the year 2012, the survey focussed its field of study on industrial companies with at least one employee. From 2013 onwards, the population scope was widened to include industrial companies without employees, and this has led to an increase in the year-over-year variability of the number of companies.

Furthermore, the Structural Business Statistics in the Service Sector (known as the Annual Services Survey until the reference year, 2014) research total market services, in other words, companies engaged in trade, tourism, transport, IT, property and renting activities and services to businesses (sections G to J and L to N, R and S, excluding division 94).

These two sources contain information on the main structural characteristics of the companies in this area. For this summarised publication, a series of economic magnitudes and concepts are shown that reflect the importance of the ICT sector in the Catalan economy.

Several methodological improvements are applied to the above-mentioned Structural Business Statistics in 2016 as part of the project for the integration of the structural economic surveys. The results for 2016 are therefore not strictly comparable with those for previous years, as the evolution of the variables may reflect both possible actual changes in the period and the effects of the methodological improvements on the estimates of the above-mentioned variables.

The variables used in this publication are:

Value of production (basic prices)

Money flow which measures the value of goods and services produced by the company.

Intermediate consumption (basic prices)

Value of goods and services consumed as part of the production process, excluding capital assets.

Gross value added (basic prices)

Wealth generated during the period in question, which is obtained as the difference between the value of production and intermediate consumption.

Gross operating surplus (basic prices)

Difference between the gross value added at basic prices and the sum of personnel expenditure plus taxes on production.

Number of enterprises

The number of enterprises whose main economic activity falls in the field according to the established boundary. Main economic activity is taken to mean the activity that creates the most added value or, if this data is lacking, the activity that generates the highest production value or gives employment to the most people.

People employed

Fixed or temporary personnel who, by performing their job, contribute to the production of goods or services or carry out auxiliary services to a company (administration, transport, warehousing).

Salaried employees

Employed people that are associated to the company by a work contract and are paid fixed or periodical amounts (salary, wage, commission, piecework or in kind).

Turnover

Sum of the amounts invoiced by the company over the reference year for the provision of services and sale of goods that are the object of the company's traffic. Sales are accounted for without including value added tax (VAT) and in net terms.

Consumption and work done by other companies

Sum of the value of consumption (purchases minus stock variation) of raw materials, other supplies and goods, and the value of work carried out by other companies or professionals in the sector. (This work must be part of their production process.)

Expenditure on external services

Expenditure on a range of different services provided by third parties.

Expenditure on personnel

Expenditure on all payments made by the company to its personnel as payment for their work, including social charges paid by the company.

The data is offered by the following groups of activity branches on the basis of the CCAE-2009.

Sector ICT
Activity CCAE-2009
Industrial ICT
Manufacture of electronic components and loaded electronic boards 261
Manufacture of computers and peripherals, telecommunication systems and magnetic and optic supports 262, 263, 268
Manufacture of electronic consumer products 264
Services ICT
Wholesale trade of ICT equipment 465
Publication of computer programs 582
Telecommunications 61
IT services 62
Data processing, hosting and related activities; websites 631
Repair of computers and communication systems 951

2. Industrial Product Survey

The Industrial Product Survey is aimed at industrial establishments that cover 90% of the production of each of the CCAE-2009 classes. A production value is obtained for each year.

Products in the ICT sector have been divided into 5 PRODCOM product groups. For each group, the list of CPA-2008 classes included is shown.

These groups are:

Product groups
Activity CPA-2008
Telecommunication systems 2630, 2640, 2731, 2732, 2931
Computers and related equipment 2612, 2620
Electronic components 2611, 2612, 2640, 2711, 2790
Audio and video equipment 2620, 2640, 2670, 2680
Other ICT products 2651, 2660, 2670, 2823, 2829 i 2899

3. Statistics on Research and Development (R&D) Activities

The Statistics on Research and Development (R&D) Activities provide information on the personnel involved in research activities, as well as the economic resources allocated to conducting these activities. All the economic sectors (companies, public administrations, higher education and non-profit private institutions) are researched but, for the purposes of this publication, only the business sector (companies with their main activity in sections A to S, except for sections O and P and division 94 of the CCAE-2009) are taken into account.

This publication provides results in accordance with the following groupings of branches of activity based on the CCAE-2009:

ICT sectorisation
Activity CCAE-2009
Industrial ICT 261–264, 268
Wholesale trade of ICT equipment 465
Program editing, data processing and computer repairs 582, 631, 951
Telecommunications 61
Information technology services 62
R&D staff

Directly employed staff working on R&D activities, regardless of their level of responsibilities. The staff are presented in accordance with the types of employment: Researchers and other R&D staff.

The research staff is made up of scientists and engineers involved in the conception and creation of new knowledge, products, processes, methods and systems and the management of the corresponding projects, as well as the managers and administrators engaged in the planning of the scientific aspects of the R&D projects.

The remaining R&D staff comprises technical and auxiliary staff who provide support for the R&D tasks.

This variable is expressed as full-time equivalent (FTE), in other words, the staff working on R&D activities full-time plus the sum of the fractions of time devoted to these activities by part-time staff.

In-house R&D expenditure

This is the expenditure on R&D activities conducted within the unit or research centre. It therefore includes the amount assigned to creative work carried out within the company to increase the volume of knowledge and its use to devise new or improved products and processes. Also included is the expenditure incurred outside the company to support the in-house R&D tasks.

This concept is presented by nature of the R&D expenditure: current and capital expenditure incurred within the company, regardless of the origin of the funds.

The information published on staff and expenditure refers to companies with R&D activity conducted in Catalonia, regardless of their headquarters' locations.

4. Survey on Innovation in Companies

The Survey on Innovation in Companies is aimed at all agricultural, industrial, construction and services companies with 10 or more wage earners (companies with main activity in the sections A through S, excluding O, P, T and U and division 94 of the CCAE-2009.

For the purposes of this publication, results are provided on the following variables:

Expenditure on technological innovation

It includes the total expenditure assigned to conducting any activity related to technological innovation. It therefore includes the expenditure on in-house and external R&D, as well as that related to other technologically innovative activities.

The information published corresponds to the expenditure on technological innovation of companies which have conducted innovative activity in Catalonia, regardless of where their head offices are located.

Companies with technological innovation activities

A technological innovation is a new or substantially improved product (goods or service) launched onto the market (so-called product innovation) or the introduction into the company of a new or significantly improved process (process innovation). The activities related to technological innovation are classified as follows:

  • In-house R&D tasks
  • R&D acquisition (external R&D)
  • Activities related to the acquisition of machinery and equipment for technologically new or improved products and processes
  • Acquisition of other external knowledge for innovation
  • Training in innovative activities
  • Introduction of innovations onto the market
  • Design and other preparations for production and/or distribution

The information published corresponds to companies with their head offices in Catalonia, which have conducted an activity related to technological innovation in the reference year.

Expenditure on technological innovation

Total cost of all activities related to technological innovation. This includes internal and external expenditure on R&D and expenditure in relation to other innovative activities.

Companies with technological innovations during the period

It includes companies which have conducted an activity related to technological innovation (as outlined in the previous section) in the reference year or in either of the two previous years. It includes companies with their head offices in Catalonia.

Companies with non-technological innovations during the period

It includes both companies which have innovated in organizational aspects (implementation of new organizational methods in the company's internal operations, organization of the place of work or external relations) and those which have innovated in marketing (implementation of new commercial strategies or concepts which have not previously been used).

The information published corresponds to companies with their head offices in Catalonia, which have made non-technological innovations in the reference year or in either of the two previous years.

Companies with technological or non-technological innovations during the period

It includes both companies which have made some kind of technological innovation (related to the product or process) and those which have made non-technological innovations (related to organization or marketing).

The information published corresponds to companies with their head offices in Catalonia, which have made some kind of innovation in the reference year or in either of the two previous years.

Data on companies and expenditure refers to companies active in Catalonia, regardless of where their headquarters are based.

The data is offered according to the following groups of activity branches on the basis of the CCAE-2009:

ICT sectors
Activity CCAE-2009
Industrial ICT 261–264, 268
Wholesale trade of ICT equipment 465
Publication of programs, data processing and repair of computers 582, 631, 951
Telecommunications 61
IT services 62

5. Survey on the Use of ICT and E-commerce in Companies

The Survey on the Use of ICT and E-commerce in Companies reports on the situation of Catalan companies in relation with the supply and use of ICT and e-commerce.

The study population is made up of companies whose main activity is described in sections C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, L, divisions 69 to 74 of section M, section N and group 95.1 according to the CCAE-2009.

In producing this publication, the results were taken for companies with 10 employees or more and that have their head offices in Catalonia and whose activity is included among those described in the definition of the ICT sector. For years prior to 2010, the results refer to companies with 10 wage earners or more. The results published are obtained from all activity included in the population scope of this survey, excluding division 56 and group 95.1.

The year of reference for the table Main Indicators of the Use of ICT and E-commerce corresponds to the period of reference of the data in relation to purchases and sales by means of e-commerce, while the variables on ICT equipment and use (Internet connection, website, broadband and e-mail) refer to January of the year after the one indicated.

Starting in 2013, the survey does not investigate the availability of e-mail.

6. Foreign trade

The results for foreign trade in the ICT industrial sector were obtained from data provided by the Department of Customs and Special Taxes (State Tax Administration Agency). Specifically, results are offered for the following variables:

Exports (dispatches of inter-community trade)

Operations by means of which merchandise or products originating from or created in Catalonia are transferred to another country.

Imports (introductions of inter-community trade)

Operations by means of which merchandise or products originating from or created in another country are transferred to Catalonia.

Coverage rate

Proportion represented by exports (dispatches) over imports (introductions).

These results are presented in accordance with the groups proposed by the OCDE (table 2. ICT sector by focus by products). To obtain the data on these groups a correspondence was established between the classification of products by activity CPA-2008 and the combined nomenclature (CN).