The INDICSER project has the aim to identify and develop performance indicators of service sectors in attempting to understand economic developments in these sectors and their impact on aggregate growth. Therefore, the main objective of the INDICSER project is to develop indicators which are able to provide information on the determinants of growth in service sectors in the European Union.
To this end, the indicators need to fulfil the following criteria.
These requirements put constraints on the possible sets of indicators to be developed but at the same time ensure that they are collected in a coherent framework, maximizing their usefulness for the users. The INDICSER project will explore indicators in two broad groups, indicators for market services and indicators for non-market services, reflecting the very different measurement issues and states of development in the two.
The main areas covered for non-market services are similar but reflect the existing lack of knowledge for these sectors. Hence a first objective must be to consider what indicators should we be measuring and how these relate to measures in use for market services. This will be followed by analyses of data issues and practical importance. For non-market services such as health and education, the main emphasis will be on measuring output and applying novel concepts of output measurement to a wide range of EU countries. Many ideas have been put forward in recent years (e.g. Atkinson Report, 2005), but so far internationally comparable implementation has not progressed.
Thus the overall objective is to produce a comprehensive summary on indicators that might be measured, the feasibility of estimating these indicators given current data constraints and a series of recommendations that will inform the using community of national and international statistical offices and policy makers. The combined objectives of the INDICSER project are designed to add significantly to knowledge on the appropriate indicators for policy relating to ensuring dynamic well functioning service sectors in Europe. At the heart of the project are concerns that such indicators should be valid in terms of concepts and measurement methods and feasibility of data collection but should also have value in terms of their usefulness for policy and international comparability.