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International Trade in Services (Survey of)
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    Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

    The Survey of International Trade in Services (SITS) is a quarterly survey which collects information about international trade in services.

    There is no comprehensive source or list to identify enterprises that engage in trade in services. Other alternative sources including, newspaper articles, industry bodies and associations, annual reports, ATO records, and other ABS surveys are used to identify enterprises that may be in scope of the survey. These enterprises are sent a coverage questionnaire to confirm their details.

    The data are used in conjunction with other source data, for the compilation of services export (credits) and import (debits) estimates in the balance of payments.

    These statistics are used by Commonwealth and State government policy makers and advisers, industry bodies, researchers and economists.

    The scope of the SITS is all resident enterprises in Australia that engage in (or are likely to in the near future) certain selected services traded internationally (ie with non-residents) or who earn or pay royalties and licence fees from or to non-residents.

    In 2010 the survey population was approximately 4,500 enterprises and the number of businesses surveyed each quarter was approximately 1,650 with approximately 1,500 businesses completely enumerated (i.e. they are surveyed each quarter and not rotated out of the survey).


    Conceptual framework
    The conceptual framework is provided by the International Monetary Fund's Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual (Sixth Edition, 2009, BPM6). Further elaboration is provided in the United Nation's Manual on Statistics of International Trade in Services (2010, MSITS 2010).

    Broadly speaking, the Australian balance of payments is a statistical statement designed to provide a systematic record of Australia's economic transactions with the rest of the world. It may be described as a system of consolidated accounts in which the accounting entity is the Australian economy and the entries refer to economic transactions between residents of Australia and residents of the rest of the world (non-residents).

    For further information refer to Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia, Concepts Sources and Methods (ABS 5331.0).

    Main outputs
    The SITS provides estimates of international trade in services which are published:

    • monthly in International Trade in Goods and Services (ABS 5368.0);
    • quarterly in Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia (ABS 5302.0); and
    • annually in International Trade in Services by Country, by State and by Detailed Services Category, Financial Year (ABS 5368.0.55.003) and International Trade in Services by Country, by State and by Detailed Services Category, Calendar Year (ABS 5368.0.55.004)

    The main classifications used in SITS are:
    • service type (Extended Balance of Payments Services - EBOPS);
    • partner country;
    • state; and
    • ANZSIC (for stratification).

    Other concepts (summary)
    Not applicable.

    New South Wales
    South Australia
    Western Australia
    Northern Territory

    Comments and/or Other Regions
    Residents of Norfolk Island and other external territories of Australia are regarded as residents of Australia's economic territory.


    Frequency comments
    Survey of International Trade in Services (SITS) is a quarterly survey.

    The SITS commenced as an annual survey with respect to the reference year 1987-88 and became a quarterly survey in the reference year 1995-96.


    Data availability comments
    The data from SITS is combined with other sources of data for trade in services, to provide a comprehensive picture of trade in services (on a balance of payments basis). Data releases are described above under Main Outputs.

    07/03/2011 10:54 AM

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