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5216.0 - Australian National Accounts: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 2000  
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Contents >> Chapter 20: Gross operating surplus and gross mixed income

Introduction

20.1 The closely related concepts of gross operating surplus (GOS) and gross mixed income (GMI) are defined in Chapter 4. Both GOS and GMI measure the surplus accruing from processes of production before deducting any explicit or implicit interest charges, land rent or other property incomes payable on the financial assets, land or other tangible non-produced assets required to carry on the production. GOS and GMI are defined as gross value added minus compensation of employees, minus taxes on production and imports payable plus subsidies receivable. Net operating surplus and net mixed income are equal to GOS and GMI less consumption of fixed capital.

20.2 GOS and GMI are derived as the excess of gross output over the costs incurred in producing that output before allowing for consumption of fixed capital. Gross output includes sales of goods and services (plus changes in inventories of work in progress and finished goods); subsidies received; other operating income such as sales commissions and rentals, leasing and hiring revenue (excluding land rent); FISIM receivable by financial corporations; and production of capital goods for own use. It excludes receipts of interest, land rent, rent on natural resource assets, dividends and proceeds from sales of fixed assets. The relevant costs include: compensation of employees; taxes on production and imports; and intermediate consumption of goods and services. (Excluded are payments of interest, land rent, rent on natural resource assets and dividends, and consumption of fixed capital.) Intermediate consumption includes FISIM payable and an insurance service charge which is calculated as premiums plus premium supplements less expected claims. (The concept of premium supplements is explained below in paragraph 20.36).

20.3 In this chapter, the discussion is organised according to the types of institutional units for which estimates of GOS and GMI are made, namely: private non-financial corporations; public non-financial corporations; unincorporated enterprises (excluding dwellings owned by persons); dwellings owned by persons; general government units; and financial corporations. The distinction between private and public non-financial corporations is based on who controls the corporations. The criterion for recognising government-controlled corporations and quasi corporations is based on the SNA93 definition of control, which is

        "the ability to determine general corporate policy by appointing the appropriate directors, if necessary. Owning more than half the shares in a corporation is evidently a sufficient, but not a necessary condition for control." (SNA93 paragraph 4.30).

Consequently, corporations where a government owns more than 50 per cent of the shares in the corporation are classified as public. In addition, in some cases a government may control a corporation when it holds 50 per cent or less of the shares in the corporation. For example, government control can exist where special legislation or regulations empower a government to determine corporate policy or to appoint the directors of a corporation. Corporations controlled by other government-controlled corporations are considered to be government controlled.


Private non-financial corporations and quasi corporations

Annual estimates

20.4 From 1994-95 the supply and use tables provide annual estimates for GOS plus GMI in total for all types of institutional units. Benchmark estimates for total GOS of private non-financial corporations are derived by subtracting estimates of GOS plus GMI for all other types of institutional units (derived as described below) from total GOS plus GMI from the S-U tables. Annual benchmarks for GOS of private non-financial corporations are derived from the annual S-U tables for all but the latest year. Estimates for the latest year are based on movements in the quarterly ABS Company Profits Survey. See Chapter 12 for details about the sources and methods used to compile the annual S-U tables.

Quarterly estimates

20.5 To provide quarterly estimates of the GOS of private non-financial corporations, the annual benchmarks are allocated to quarters using data from the publication Company Profits, Australia (Cat. no. 5651.0). (A special benchmarking procedure is used to avoid any step problem arising in September quarters due to variability in the relationship between the annual estimates for the indicator and benchmark series.) Quarterly data for company profits, net interest paid and depreciation from the survey are applied to the corresponding annual benchmark estimates for these components of GOS. The survey data for company profits are first adjusted to remove capital gains and losses, which are not included in the national accounts measure of the value of production. There are a number of other components of GOS which cannot be collected in the Profits Survey, including the Inventory Valuation Adjustment (IVA), FISIM payable, imputed insurance service charges and adjustments relating to the capitalisation of software, mineral exploration expenditure and artistic originals. The IVA is estimated directly each quarter and aggregated to derive annual estimates, while the other components of the GOS of private non-financial corporations are either allocated using appropriate indicators or estimated by linear trend interpolation and extrapolation.


Public non-financial corporations and quasi corporations

Annual estimates

20.6 Estimates are compiled from annual financial statements included with the annual reports of the corporations and quasi corporations, and Auditors'-General Reports.

Quarterly estimates

20.7 A quarterly survey of large public non-financial corporations and quasi corporations is conducted to obtain revenue and expenditure data.


Unincorporated enterprises

Annual estimates

20.8 Estimates of unincorporated enterprises' gross mixed income are derived separately for the farm and non-farm sectors.

20.9 Annual gross mixed income by industry for non-farm unincorporated enterprises is derived from Taxation Statistics supplemented by information from ABS and other sources. As there is a time lag in obtaining complete income tax data, estimates for the most recent two years are based on preliminary taxation data and various other indicators. At the time of the release of the annual national accounts, the third last year is based on complete taxation data, the second last year is based on preliminary taxation data and the last year is based on the same sources as those used to prepare the quarterly estimates (see below).

20.10 Net business income (excluding amounts pertaining to agriculture) from Taxation Statistics is adjusted as follows to derive GMI:

Gross mixed income equals net business income
plus investment allowances deducted in the taxation data
plus depreciation allowed in the taxation data
plus net interest, land rent and rent on natural resource assets paid
plus a finance lease adjustment
plus owner-builders' gross mixed income
plus net non-dwelling rent received
plus adjustment for understatement of net business income
plus adjustment for home production of goods
plus non-life insurance adjustment
plus capitalised software adjustment
less FISIM
less IVA.


20.11 Estimates for net interest, land rent and rent on natural resource assets are prepared using a matrix of flows for each of the three components. The matrices represent a fully balanced system of flows between each sector. They are constructed using data from ABS government finance statistics, ABS collections from financial corporations, Reserve Bank of Australia, the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority, balance of payments and Taxation Statistics. (The data sources and methods used to estimate net interest, land rent and royalties on natural resources are described more fully in Chapter 22.)

20.12 The finance lease adjustment is required because businesses can choose to write off the whole of lease payments as a deduction for taxation purposes in the period of payment whereas, for national accounting purposes, lease payments are divided into notional interest and principal components and only the service charge component of the interest payable is deducted in deriving GMI. Estimates of the adjustment have been derived from Taxation Statistics and ABS statistics on financial corporations' income derived from finance leasing.

20.13 Owner-builders' GMI is derived as a proportion of owner-builders' value of work done, as recorded in the quarterly ABS Building Activity Survey. Net non-dwelling rent received is based on taxation data adjusted to exclude rent received on tenanted dwellings.

20.14 Understatement of net business income can arise as a result of businesses understating business receipts or overstating expenses (or both) in their income tax returns, or by not filing a tax return at all. To the extent that such understatement remains undetected by the Australian Taxation Office, without adjustment the basic source data for estimates of GMI will be negatively biased. Consequently, a substantial adjustment is made to the net business income data obtained from Taxation Statistics for the purpose of compiling estimates of GMI. There is limited direct evidence about the extent of understatement (e.g. by ongoing audits of a random sample of businesses). Therefore, the adjustment applied relies on an assessment of diverse information including anecdotal evidence. Estimates have been derived predominantly using the following :

      • broad estimates of tax evasion by corporations and unincorporated enterprises for the year 1983-84 provided by the Commissioner of Taxation in the Draft White Paper Reform of the Australian Tax System, June 1985;
      • an analysis of long term trends in the difference between current price measures of GDP derived using the income and expenditure approaches before the inclusion of any adjustments for the understatement of business incomes when using the income approach. The understatement of business income is a major contributor to the tendency for the expenditure measure to exceed the income measure, so this difference has been used as an indicator of the extent of understatement. (This point applies particularly to years prior to 1994-95, which was the first year for which balanced S-U tables were used in the compilation of the accounts.);
      • judgements about the effect of specific measures undertaken by the Australian Taxation Office to reduce the amount of evasion. For example, the introduction of the prescribed payments system (PPS) in 1983 was expected to substantially reduce tax evasion in the targeted industries, particularly the construction industry. Data from the tax amnesty (May to October 1988) for late or non-filers have also been used to trend the adjustment; and
      • judgements about the differing incidence of tax evasion between industries.

The present adjustments for understatement of net business income are currently being re-evaluated using more up-to-date information.

20.15 A number of adjustments are made to apply various national accounting conceptual treatments, which were introduced as part of the implementation of SNA93 in the 1997-98 issue of the ASNA. An allowance is included for the imputed income derived by households who produce some of their own goods, particularly in relation to home made beer and wine, and the value of fish caught for home consumption. Expenditure on software which is to be used in the production process for more than one year is treated as part of gross fixed capital formation rather than as intermediate consumption. Adjustments are also required to appropriately record the value of financial services consumed by unincorporated businesses, covering both non-life insurance and FISIM (for details see paragraphs 20.34 to 20.37 below).

20.16 The derivation of the IVA is described in Chapter 17. The annual IVA is obtained as the sum of the IVAs for the four quarters of each financial year.

20.17 Gross mixed income of farm unincorporated enterprises is derived as the difference between total farm GOS and GOS of private farm corporations and quasi corporations. Total farm GOS is derived using a production approach and is measured as gross value of agricultural production less the costs incurred (but before deducting net interest and land rent paid and consumption of fixed capital). The gross value of agricultural production includes an allowance for backyard production of fruit and vegetables and the value of meat produced from livestock raised for household use.

20.18 The gross value of agricultural production is estimated from data collected in the ABS annual Agricultural Commodity Survey together with additional data from various marketing organisations, wholesalers, brokers and auctioneers. Detailed estimates for each State and Territory and for Australia are published in Agriculture, Australia (Cat. No. 7113.0). The general approach used is to derive the market value of agricultural production by collecting quantity data from agricultural establishments and marketing organisations and multiplying these quantities by prices supplied by marketing boards, marketing reports, wholesalers, brokers and auctioneers. For wheat, the current period crop is initially valued at the price expected to be realised on eventual sale. Before costs are deducted, an allowance is also made for subsidies not included in the gross value of agricultural production (e.g. drought relief) and a production valuation adjustment (PVA) is deducted. The PVA is required for wheat and wool because the gross value of production is based on estimated or realised future sales prices, which may be different from average current period prices (the basis required for national accounts). The PVA is estimated directly using quantity data and the difference between average current period prices and the prices underlying the calculation of the gross value of production.

20.19 Farm costs such as electricity, fuel, maintenance of plant and structures, chemicals, insurance, fertilisers and contract payments are estimated using data from the periodic ABS Agricultural Finance Survey (AFS). For preliminary estimates made prior to AFS data becoming available, data from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ABARE) publication Australian Commodities Forecasts and Issues are used to move forward AFS-based estimates. Seed costs are derived using data for area sown multiplied by applicable seeding rates multiplied by price per tonne. Fodder costs are derived as a residual after deducting the value of exports and non-fodder uses of these products from the gross value of production. Marketing costs are derived as gross value of production less local value of production, taken from Agriculture, Australia (Cat. no. 7113.0).

20.20 As previously explained, an estimate of farm GOS for private non-financial corporations and quasi corporations is deducted to give gross mixed income of farm unincorporated enterprises. The estimate for private non-financial corporations is relatively small and is derived using company income data from Taxation Statistics.

Quarterly estimates

20.21 As the scope of the quarterly Company Profits Survey does not include unincorporated enterprises, quarterly estimates of non-farm unincorporated enterprises' GMI are obtained by moving forward the annual benchmarks using various activity indicators or on trend. The indicators include a range of data relating to turnover (e.g. retail sales, capital expenditure on dwellings, and estimates for consumption of medical services) and costs (e.g. wages and salaries paid). Sources and methods used to estimate quarterly GMI for owner-builders are the same as those used to derive the annual estimates.

20.22 A range of indicators (described in paragraphs 20.23 and 20.24 below) is used to allocate annual estimates of farm gross mixed income to quarters. Estimates for the latest incomplete year are derived as a quarterly allocation of forecast annual totals. The allocations are based on estimated patterns of production and costs, and are progressively updated as the data detailed in these paragraphs become available. The annual forecasts largely depend on ABARE data, which are regularly revised to reflect weather and market conditions.

20.23 Annual estimates of the gross value of production for wheat and barley are allocated to quarters on the basis of receivals data supplied by the respective marketing boards. Estimates for other grains and crops are largely allocated according to proportions derived on the basis of the applicable harvesting season. For livestock slaughterings, the annual estimates of gross value of production are allocated to quarters using estimates of the quantity of meat produced obtained from the quarterly publication Livestock Products, Australia (Cat. no. 7215.0). Quarterly estimates for wool production are derived using quantity and value data supplied by the Australian Wool Exchange Limited.

20.24 Annual estimates of farm production costs are allocated to quarters on the basis of the pattern of usage appropriate for each particular input. Some inputs are particularly seasonal, such as seed, fodder, fertilisers, fuel usage and the wages of seasonal workers. Other inputs, such as marketing costs, are allocated according to the estimated gross value of production in each quarter or on the basis of linear trend. The derivation of the production valuation adjustment mentioned in paragraph 20.18 is described in Chapter 17.


Dwellings owned by persons

20.25 As mentioned in Chapter 4, owner-occupiers of dwellings, like other owners of dwellings, are regarded as operating businesses that generate a gross operating surplus. The imputation of a rent to owner-occupied dwellings enables the services provided by dwellings to their owner-occupiers to be treated consistently with the marketed services provided by rented dwellings to their tenants. Owner-occupiers are regarded as receiving rents (from themselves as consumers), paying expenses, and making a net contribution to the value of production which accrues to them as owners. GOS for ownership of dwellings is derived as gross rent (both actual and imputed) less operating expenses (but before the deduction of consumption of fixed capital). An estimate of GOS for dwellings owned by sectors other than households is deducted to obtain GOS for dwellings owned by persons.

Annual estimates

20.26 The sources and methods used to estimate gross rents of tenanted dwellings and to impute gross rent to owner-occupied dwellings are described in Chapter 14.

20.27 Operating expenses related to dwelling GOS include municipal rates, building insurance, repairs and maintenance, consumption of financial services and real estate agent commissions charged for the management of rental properties. In this context repairs and maintenance cover actual repairs to the dwelling and preventative maintenance such as painting internal and external surfaces. However, purchases of goods and services associated with cleaning a dwelling are included in household final consumption expenditure. General municipal rates, and repairs and maintenance, are benchmarked from the periodic Household Expenditure Survey. The benchmarks are extrapolated using a combined indicator based on the estimated number of dwellings (the same estimate as used to estimate total dwelling rent - see Chapter 14) and movements in appropriate component price indexes from the CPI. Estimates for building insurance (premiums plus premium supplements less expected claims) are derived from annual data published by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). The item 'consumption of financial services' comprises the imputed service charge component of interest payable on loans used to finance the purchase of dwellings by persons. The concept of financial intermediation services indirectly measured (FISIM) and the methods used to estimate it are described below in the section on financial corporations GOS. The imputed financial service charge relating to dwellings owned by persons is a component of FISIM. Estimates for real estate agents' management fees are derived using data from the ABS 1980 Housing Occupancy Survey and agents' fee schedules, and extrapolated using estimates of gross rents of tenanted dwellings as an indicator.

20.28 The processes described in the previous paragraph provide an estimate of GOS for ownership of dwellings by landlords as well as owner-occupiers. GOS relating to ownership of dwellings by the public sector (derived from ABS government finance statistics) and non-financial corporations (derived using benchmark data from past Surveys of Interest, Rent, Royalties and Dividends) are deducted to give GOS from ownership of dwellings by persons.

Quarterly estimates

20.29 The data sources and methods used to compile quarterly estimates of gross rent are described in Chapter 14. Annual estimates for municipal rates are allocated to quarters, and extrapolated for incomplete years, according to information about receipts of local government rates. The remaining expenses are estimated by linear trend. GOS for dwellings owned by private and public corporations is allocated to quarters on trend, and is deducted from GOS for total dwellings to derive estimates of GOS for dwellings owned by persons.


General government

20.30 GOS of general government is equivalent to the value of consumption of fixed capital on general government assets because, by convention, the value of general government gross output is measured as the cost of producing that output, including consumption of fixed capital. GOS is calculated as gross output less the costs incurred in producing that output (but before deducting consumption of fixed capital), leaving consumption of fixed capital as the residual (i.e. an assumption is made in calculating the value of gross output that the net operating surplus is zero).

Annual estimates

20.31 Annual estimates of consumption of fixed capital at current prices for general government (general government GOS) are derived using a perpetual inventory model. This model and the source data used are described in detail in Chapter 16.

Quarterly estimates

20.32 Quarterly estimates are derived from the annual estimates by interpolation and extrapolation using a linear trend model.

Non-profit institutions serving households (NPISH)

20.33 SNA93 recommends, in its paragraph 7.9, that a GOS for NPISHs should be compiled on a similar basis to that described in paragraph 20.30 above for general government. However, in the ASNA, NPISHs are not distinguished as a separate sector, instead being included with the households sector. Consequently, no estimate is recorded for GOS of NPISHs although capital formation relating to NPISHs is indistinguishably included with that for unincorporated enterprises.


Financial corporations and quasi corporations

20.34 GOS of financial corporations is the excess of gross output over the costs incurred in producing that output for all financial corporations in Australia. However, unlike the case for non-financial corporations, whose gross output can generally be equated with the proceeds of the sales of goods and services, explicit charges for services account for only a small proportion of the income of financial corporations.

20.35 Banks and similar financial intermediaries largely finance their activities by the excess of interest received over interest paid. If GOS were calculated in the same way as for other institutional sectors, it would be negative because only explicit service charges and operating expenses would be taken into account. (In the national accounts, interest received is not considered to be part of income from production, and likewise interest paid is not part of expenses incurred in deriving income from production.) The approach adopted in SNA93 and the ASNA is to impute a service charge in addition to any actual charges which are made by these financial corporations, and to include the imputed service charge in the calculation of GOS. The imputed service charge is entitled financial intermediation services indirectly measured (FISIM).

20.36 Non-life insurance corporations do not identify an explicit service charge as part of their premiums. However, their premiums can be regarded as being composed of two components: an implicit service charge, and a transfer payment to cover the risk of providing insurance cover. The non-life insurance service charge is defined as premiums earned plus premium supplements less expected claims. Premiums earned include direct premiums earned plus inward reinsurance premiums less outward insurance premiums and statutory charges paid. The item represents the amount of premium income earned during the financial year and includes movements in the unearned premium provision. Premium supplements represent income earned on the technical reserves of non-life insurance corporations, which consist of unearned premiums (most premiums are paid for a full year in advance) and claims incurred but not yet paid (which arise because of delays in claims being lodged and assessed, and in finalising the payment of claims). Premium supplements do not include any income from the investment of insurance corporations' own funds. Expected claims are generally defined as a centred five year moving average of claims incurred. A moving average is used to avoid irregular movements in the non-life insurance service charge which would otherwise arise because of volatility in the annual data for claims incurred. While the use of expected claims rather than claims actually incurred each year may be viewed as a departure from the practical recommendations contained in SNA93, it is consistent with the conceptual discussion contained in SNA93.

20.37 For life insurance and pension funds the insurance service charge is equal to the administrative expenses of operating mutual funds plus the explicit charges made by non-mutual insurance corporations for the services they provide.

Annual estimates - financial intermediaries other than insurance corporations and pension funds

20.38 An estimate of GOS is calculated for financial intermediaries as a whole. The estimate includes the following financial intermediaries: banks (including the Reserve Bank), finance companies, pastoral finance companies, general financiers, money market corporations, building societies, credit unions, cash management trusts, securitisors, other financial corporations, investment companies, common funds, public unit trusts, public housing funds, co-operative housing societies, State government borrowing authorities, and industry development corporations of the Commonwealth government and the State governments.

20.39 GOS is calculated in the following manner:

FISIM imputation
plus explicit charges
plus gross non-land rent and other service income (excludes property income)
less expenses (excluding consumption of fixed capital)
less imputed financial service charges
plus capitalised software adjustment.


20.40 No FISIM is imputed for the Reserve Bank, other financial corporations, investment companies, common funds, publicly-listed unit trusts, public housing funds, co-operative housing societies, and industry development corporations of the Commonwealth and State governments. For the Reserve Bank a cost-based output measure is imputed instead of FISIM, and for publicly-listed unit trusts GOS is calculated as service fees plus non-land rent received less expenses. The treatment of the other financial intermediaries for which FISIM is not presently calculated will be reviewed to determine whether the concept of FISIM is relevant to any of them.

20.41 As indicated in paragraph 20.35 above, banks and similar financial intermediaries largely finance their operations by charging higher interest rates on their loans than they pay out on deposits. In effect, the interest paid by borrowers can be regarded as comprising two components, a service charge and a 'pure' interest flow. Likewise, the interest paid to depositors can be viewed as a 'pure' interest flow from which a service charge has been deducted. FISIM for a particular category of financial intermediaries is the sum of the imputed service charges for both borrowers and depositors. The service charge on borrowers is calculated as the level of loans outstanding multiplied by the difference between the average interest rate received on loans and a 'pure' interest rate. Similarly, the service charge on depositors is calculated as the level of deposit multiplied by the difference between the 'pure' interest rate and the average interest rate paid on deposits. The 'pure' or 'reference' rate of interest could be determined as being equal to a particular market rate of interest, such as the long term bond rate. However, for practical reasons, the ABS has decided to use the mid-point between the average interest rate on loans and the average interest rate on deposits as the 'pure' or reference rate of interest for the FISIM calculations. The estimation of FISIM is undertaken at a broad level for particular categories of financial intermediaries.

20.42 Explicit charges refer to direct charges levied e.g. loan establishment fees, loan account service fees and cheque account fees. Finance lease receipts are not classified as direct charges, in accordance with the treatment of finance leases in the ASNA, as discussed in Chapter 4. Expenses include wages and salaries, purchases of goods and services, and taxes on production and imports. Profits and losses on foreign exchange dealings are excluded from GOS because they constitute holding gains and losses in the national accounts. Some of the imputed services for both FISIM and non-life insurance are attributable to corporations in the financial corporations sector, and need to be deducted as a component of intermediate consumption. An adjustment is also required to ensure that expenditure on software of a capital nature is not deducted as a current expense, but is capitalised.

20.43 Various ABS and other data sources are used to prepare the estimates of GOS for financial intermediaries. The principal data sources are the monthly Reserve Bank of Australia Bulletin, ABS annual Economic Activity Survey returns for banks, annual reports of individual financial enterprises, State Auditors'-General Reports and monthly, quarterly and annual ABS surveys conducted to produce statistics on the operations of the various types of financial intermediaries. Because of delays in the availability of data from some major sources, estimates for the most recent year are largely based on indicators derived from the ABS surveys, including Managed Funds, Australia (Cat. no. 5655.0) and the Reserve Bank of Australia Bulletin, which provide data on assets and liabilities of financial intermediaries. Data on interest rates, which are obtained from either the ABS surveys or the Reserve Bank of Australia Bulletin, are used in conjunction with the balance sheet data to estimate interest flows.

Annual estimates for insurance corporations and pension funds

20.44 Separate estimates are compiled for the GOS of non-life insurance corporations, and of life insurance corporations and pension funds.

20.45 GOS for non-life insurance corporations is estimated as the sum of the insurance service charge (as defined in paragraph 20.37 above) plus any explicit service charges plus gross rental income on dwellings and commercial buildings plus non-insurance business income plus subsidies less operating expenses (excluding the consumption of fixed capital) less consumption of imputed financial services plus the capitalised software adjustment. Estimates of the GOS of non-life insurance corporations are based on data from the reports of APRA, the Commonwealth Department of Family and Community Services, State Auditors-General, State insurance offices and the ABS Survey of Major Labour Costs.

20.46 GOS for life insurance corporations and pension funds is estimated as the insurance service charge (as defined in paragraph 20.37 above) plus gross rental income on commercial buildings less operating expenses (excluding the consumption of fixed capital) less consumption of imputed financial services plus the capitalised software adjustment. Estimates of the GOS of life insurance corporations and pension funds are based on data from the reports of APRA, State insurance offices and the ABS Survey of Superannuation Funds.

Quarterly estimates - all financial enterprises

20.47 At present there are no ABS surveys which provide direct quarterly estimates for the GOS of financial corporations. Consequently, the quarterly estimates are obtained by linear trend interpolation and extrapolation. It is expected that in future the ABS will be able to use quarterly data compiled by APRA from its new and redeveloped collections from financial corporations to prepare quarterly estimates of GOS for this sector.


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