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Measuring Australia's Economy has been structured so that readers will gain a broad understanding of how economic activity can be measured and the state of the Australian economy at the beginning of the 21st century. Information on specific economic indicators is provided in sections which consider economic activity from different perspectives. The format of most entries presents commentary, a graph and table of data, explanatory notes and further reading. The final chapter brings together information on concepts, classifications, sources, methods and usage of the material provided in the book.
Seasonal adjustment and trend estimates help the user identify the effect of these influences on the time series. Seasonal adjustment removes the effect of the last three listed influences from the data, leaving only the trend and short-term irregular movements. Trend estimates are then obtained by removing the effects of the short-term irregularities. The ABS believes that trend series provide the best 'underlying' measures of economic activity for monthly or quarterly series.
Chain Volume Estimates
Chain volume estimates in this publication refer to estimates in 2000-01 dollar terms. Chain volume estimates remove the direct effect of price change from the current price values so that movements in the data between one period and another reflect changes in volume, often called ‘changes in real terms’.
ABS publications generally contain Explanatory Notes which describe the collection methodology and data items contained therein. Because Measuring Australia’s Economy contains statistics from numerous sources, collection methodologies and data item descriptions have not been included. Readers are directed to the Explanatory Notes contained in the appropriate ABS publications for such descriptions. Explanatory notes in Measuring Australia’s Economy describe each economic indicator and how it is used to measure economic activity.
Further reading references for each indicator are generally ABS publications. The ABS uses a catalogue numbering system to describe its publications and products. The catalogue number appears in brackets after each publication, for example, Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia (5302.0). A description of the catalogue numbering system can be found in the Catalogue of Publications and Products (1101.0). The origins of publications not from the ABS are also indicated.
Access to FREE ABS information
This website contains a vast quantity of free current information on Australian economy and society. Most of this can be accessed using the "Statistics" button on the navigation bar. Of particular interest to the subject matter of Measuring Australia's Economy are the following:
The ABS Library Extension Program (LEP)
The LEP makes ABS publications freely accessible to the community via public, state, TAFE and university libraries either in hard copy, or electronically through our online services. Many school libraries also hold ABS publications. Please contact your library to establish its opening hours and to determine whether it has the ABS data you require. A full list of participating libraries is available on the ABS website.
University students and staff have access to AusStats, a web based information service providing the ABS full standard product range on-line. This includes the publications referenced in Measuring Australia's Economy and spreadsheets containing time series data for major economic series.
Symbols and Other Usages
In all tables the following symbols mean:
Yearly periods shown as, e.g. 1996-97, refer to the fiscal year ended 30 June. Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between totals and the sums of the component items.