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Background and Methodology for Statistical Reports


Background
Methodology
Estimates
Revisions
Security and Confidentiality

Background

ACC's Plastics Industry Producers' Statistics (PIPS) Group provides relevant, timely, and extensive business statistics on the plastic resins industry.  Dating back to inception in 1971 at the Society of the Plastics Industry, the PIPS statistical reports have long been considered an important source of data on plastic resins.  Most of the materials reported cover at least 95 percent of total production in the United States and Canada, with some reflecting 100 percent industry coverage.  Each year, PIPS conducts more than 30 monthly, quarterly and annual statistical surveys of North American resin producers.  Results are published that measure resin production, sales by end use market, capacity, and inventory, in addition to other ad hoc reports.  All surveys are compiled and published for PIPS by an independent third party contractor.   

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Methodology

ACC's Plastics Industry Producers' Statistics (PIPS) Group provides relevant, timely, and extensive business statistics on the plastic resins industry.  Dating back to inception in 1971 at the Society of the Plastics Industry, the PIPS statistical reports have long been considered an important source of data on plastic resins.  Most of the materials reported cover at least 95 percent of total production in the United States and Canada, with some reflecting 100 percent industry coverage.  Each year, PIPS conducts more than 30 monthly, quarterly and annual statistical surveys of North American resin producers.  Results are published that measure resin production, sales by end use market, capacity, and inventory, in addition to other ad hoc reports.  All surveys are compiled and published for PIPS by an independent thiParticipation in the PIPS surveys is voluntary and is open to all North American resin producers whether or not they are ACC members.  Producers submit data to ACC's third party contractor via a secure, on-line database, using confidential company codes and passwords assigned by the contractor.

ACC adheres to fixed, regular due dates for each of its monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual surveys. If a producer does not submit data for a particular survey by the announced due date, the contractor and ACC staff begin a follow-up process with the delinquent company, per a documented follow-up procedure. The allowable timeframe for a producer to submit data after the due date can range in limited cases depending on the report. If the producer does not submit its data after the data follow-up process is complete, the producer is expected to develop and submit as accurate an estimate as possible, so as not to delay report publication. The producer is also expected to revise this estimate with their actual data as soon as the actual data are available to them, and provide it to the contractor.

Once data are submitted by all producers for a given report, the contractor compiles, analyzes and then releases the aggregate results anywhere from a few days to several weeks after the data due date. The contractor releases the aggregate results simultaneously to participants and subscribers; anyone outside of the independent contractor who participates in or who subscribes to the report has access to the same aggregate results at the same time.

The accuracy of each resin report is directly dependent on the quality of the data supplied by participating producer companies. The PIPS contractor reviews all data submitted by participants for completeness, consistency, and reasonableness. Each company's reported data are analyzed using formulas developed to identify data that does not fall within the company's historical trends (only recent data are retained, per ACC's documented data retention policy). When the data fall outside the identified range, the PIPS contractor contacts the company to discuss the questionable data. The contractor also follows up to verify data in instances such as when a company either submits data on a new line item; stops reporting data on a line item; submits supply/demand data out of balance; or, submits a production figure that significantly differs from reported capacity. The contractor also will follow up in other situations deemed as necessary to improve accuracy.

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Estimates

It is ACC's goal that all participating producers submit data regularly for all reports relevant to them, so that estimates are not needed. However, in cases where a company is unable to submit its data for a specific survey in which it typically participates, the company (or in limited cases, the contractor) will develop an estimate. The company is expected to revise this estimate with their actual data as soon as the actual data are available to them. Therefore, each PIPS survey reflects a consistent participation base from period to period. Estimates are not typically developed for non-participants.

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Revisions

Revisions to previously published reports are a normal occurrence within the PIPS program. Revisions can happen for a variety of reasons such as when a company submits actual data to replace an earlier estimate, a company subsequently discovers and corrects erroneous data, or a company changes and/or improves its internal data collection processes and can report more accurate data. While revisions are typically made to reports within the same calendar year, reports are also subject to restatement for prior years, due to circumstances beyond ACC’s control. When a data correction represents a material change to previously published industry figure(s) from a previously published report, ACC may restate and republish reports after the PIPS contractor reviews the data as described above.

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Security and Confidentiality

No member of the PIPS Group or ACC staff has access to the original company data. The only personnel permitted access to the original company data are a limited number of staff assigned to the program at ACC's third party contractor. Companies submit data directly to ACC's contractor via a secure, on-line database, using confidential company codes and passwords known only to the contractor and the individual company. The contractor aggregates and analyzes all data so the figures reported from an individual company will not lead to disclosure of that individual company's data. The contractor holds all data in strict confidence, and figures are not published if by publication of the aggregate report, one could identify, directly or indirectly, a company's individual data.

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For further information, contact ACC's Director, Plastics Industry Statistics, at (202) 249-7000.

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