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5368.0 - International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia, Apr 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/05/2002   
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INTRODUCTION

1 This publication contains preliminary estimates of Australia's international trade in goods and services on a balance of payments basis. General merchandise imports and exports are derived mainly from international trade statistics, which are based on Australian Customs Service records. Adjustments for coverage and timing are made to international trade statistics to bring them to a balance of payments basis. The main source of services data is the quarterly Survey of International Trade in Services.

2 More comprehensive quarterly estimates of Australia’s trade in goods and services, together with comprehensive details of Australia’s balance of payments and international investment position statistics are included in the quarterly publication, Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia (Cat. no. 5302.0).


CONCEPTS, SOURCES AND METHODS

3 The conceptual framework used in Australia’s balance of payments and international investment position statistics is based on the Fifth Edition of the International Monetary Fund’s Balance of Payments Manual (BPM5, 1993). Descriptions of the underlying concepts and structure of the balance of payments and international investment position, and the sources, methods and terms used in compiling the estimates are presented in Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 1998 (Cat. no. 5331.0).


SEASONAL ADJUSTMENT

4 Monthly original estimates are volatile, being subject to calendar related and large irregular influences. Seasonally adjusted estimates are derived by estimating and removing systematic calendar related effects, such as seasonal and trading day influences, from the original series. The trading day influences arise from the varying length of months and the varying number of Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays etc in each month. Seasonal adjustment does not aim to remove the irregular or non-seasonal influences which may be present in any particular month. The irregular influences may reflect both random economic events and difficulties of statistical recording.

5 The factors used in seasonally adjusting the monthly goods and services statistics can be obtained from Balance of Payments Section on (02) 6252 5878. There is a charge for this service.


TREND ESTIMATES

6 The month-to-month movements of the seasonally adjusted estimates may not be reliable indicators of trend behaviour. For example, irregular factors unrelated to the trend account for more than half the seasonally adjusted monthly movements with the following frequency:

  • balance on goods and services: 9 in 10 months
  • goods and services credits: 8 in 10 months
  • goods and services debits: 8 in 10 months.

7 Trend estimates are derived by applying a 13-term Henderson moving average to the seasonally adjusted series. The 13-term Henderson average (like all Henderson averages) is symmetric, but as the end of a time series is approached, asymmetric forms of the average are applied. While the asymmetric weights enable trend estimates for recent months to be produced, they result in revisions to the estimates for the most recent six months as additional observations become available. There may also be revisions because of changes in the original data and as a result of the re-estimation of the seasonal factors. Details of trend-cycle weighting patterns are available on request from Time Series Analysis Section on 02 6252 6076.


SIGN CONVENTION

8 In keeping with balance of payments conventions, credit entries are shown without sign and debit items are shown as negative entries. However, references to debit items in Key Figures, Key Points, and Analysis and Comments are made without regard to sign.


COMMODITY BREAKDOWNS OF GOODS

9 For details of the classification used for rural and non-rural goods see table 6.6 in Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia: Concepts, Sources and Methods, 1998 (Cat. no. 5331.0).

10 Table 6.7 in 5331.0 provides details of the classification used for goods debits. Most of the 25 commodity groups shown in table 4 for merchandise goods debits are further sub-divided into a total of 106 commodity sub-groups. The information at this level is available as a special data service, and can be obtained from Balance of Payments Section on Canberra 02 6252 7590.


COMMODITY BREAKDOWNS OF SERVICES

11 The quarterly detailed services data published in Table 6 are consistent with the monthly aggregates shown in Table 5. Subject to confidentiality constraints, a further breakdown of services data on a quarterly basis is available on request. Detailed annual data are published for 49 services commodities in the annual publication, Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia (Cat. no. 5363.0). Services trade data by major partner countries and by Australian State of production/consumption are published on a financial year basis and a calendar year basis in feature articles in this publication. Additional detail and additional presentations of the data are available on request. For further information contact Balance of Payments Section on Canberra 02 6252 5336.

12 Monthly indicators for many of the services components that are surveyed only quarterly are not available. In particular, the Freight and Other transportation components of Total services credits are not available for publication on a monthly basis. Therefore the estimates for these items shown in table 5 are derived by dividing the quarterly estimate by three.


RELATED PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

13 Detailed data on exports and imports of goods dissected by commodity and country are available on an international trade basis by contacting the National Information and Referral Service. Contact details are shown on the back of this publication.

14 Users may also wish to refer to the following publications which are available from ABS Bookshops:
  • Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia (Cat. no. 5302.0)-issued quarterly
  • International Merchandise Trade, Australia (Cat no. 5422.0)-issued quarterly
  • Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia: Concepts, Sources and Methods (Cat. no. 5331.0)
  • Information Paper: Quality of Australian Balance of Payments Statistics (Cat. no. 5342.0)
  • International Merchandise Trade, Australia: Concepts, Sources and Methods (Cat. no. 5489.0)
  • A Guide to Australian Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Statistics (Cat. no. 5362.0.55.001).

15 The last four publications are located on the ABS website (<www.abs.gov.au>-select About Statistics then select Concepts & Classifications).


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