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8501.0 - Retail Trade, Australia, Dec 2013  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/02/2014   
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APPENDIX 2 EXPERIMENTAL ESTIMATES OF CONSUMER SALES


INTRODUCTION

1 This appendix presents estimates of the value of sales of electricity and gas to consumer customers in Australia for the June quarter 2012 and onwards.

2 The estimates are compiled from the quarterly Survey of Consumer Sales - Energy Retailing. The survey is activity based and is considered a census of energy retailing activity. Approximately 40 businesses are included in the survey every quarter. The scope of the survey excludes energy generation and energy distribution.

3 Quarterly estimates are presented in current price values. Original estimates only are available, with a view to publishing seasonally adjusted and trend estimates in the future.

4 The Survey of Consumer Sales - Energy Retailing will provide key indicators on the performance of the Australian economy and will be an important component in the compilation of Household Final Consumption Expenditure (HFCE) in the National Accounts.

5 The estimates in this appendix are considered experimental. They are subject to evaluation and should therefore be used with caution.


KEY STATISTICS

A4 CONSUMER SALES, Australia, By Type of Activity

Electricity retailing
Gas retailing
Quarter
$m
$m

Original

2012
June
3 003.9
893.9
September
3 876.0
1 384.5
December
3 215.2
802.9
2013
March
3 415.0
548.6
June
3 443.5
1 008.6
September
3 903.1
1 396.5


A5 CONSUMER SALES, Australia, By Type of Activity-Percentage change from previous quarter

Electricity retailing
Gas retailing
Quarter
%
%

Original

2012
September
29.0
54.9
December
-17.0
-42.0
2013
March
6.2
-31.7
June
0.8
83.8
September
13.3
38.5




TIMING OF SURVEY CYCLE

6 Surveys are conducted in respect of each quarter and returns are completed during the eight or nine week period after the end of the quarter to which the survey data relate. E.g. December quarter returns are completed during January and February.


DEFINITION OF CONSUMER SALES

7 For the purposes of this publication, "consumer sales" are the value of sales to consumer customers. The Survey of Consumer Sales - Energy Retailing defines a consumer customer as a residential customer who:
  • Consumes electricity and gas for domestic use;
  • Is a non-business customer;
  • Is a non-government customer;
  • Consumes below 100 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity annually; and
  • Consumes below 1 terajoule (TJ) of gas annually.


CLASSIFICATION

8 Energy retailing activity is defined with reference to the Classification of Individual Consumption according to Purpose (COICOP) category "Electricity, Gas and Other fuels".

9 Electricity retailing is the sale of electricity to consumer customers.

10 Gas retailing is the sale of town and natural gas to consumer customers. The sale of liquefied hydrocarbons (e.g. LPG) is currently excluded, though these are included in the COICOP category for gas.


SCOPE AND COVERAGE

11 The scope of the survey is all businesses that hold a licence obtained from a regulatory body to operate as an energy retailer. Energy generation and distribution activities are outside the scope of the survey.

12 The estimates aim to measure total expenditure by consumers on electricity and gas for domestic use. For this reason, the estimates are broader than the income received by retailers, including for example; the Goods and Services Tax (GST), government concessions, discounts and solar rebates.

13 The frame used for the survey is taken from a registry list of all operating energy retailers in Australia produced by the Energy Supply Association of Australia (ESAA). The sample is annually updated to account for any new energy retailers.


SURVEY METHODOLOGY

14 The survey is conducted electronically on a quarterly basis. It is based on a complete enumeration of businesses that have been identified as holding a licence to retail electricity and/or gas to consumer customers. This may include Government-owned and/or controlled Public Non-Financial Corporations.

15 Respondents are asked to provide consumer sales data on an accrual basis. Where a selected unit does not respond in a given survey period, a value is estimated. If data are subsequently provided, the estimated value is replaced with the reported data. Aggregates are calculated from all the data by summing the individual unit level data. Data are edited at both individual unit level and aggregate level.

16 The statistical unit used to represent each energy retailer is sourced from the ABS Business Register (ABSBR). The majority of the businesses within scope of this survey are large businesses with the statistical unit being the Type of Activity Unit (TAU). However there are a few units where the Australian Business Number (ABN) is the statistical unit and is suitable for ABS statistical needs when the business is simple in structure.


REVISIONS

17 The survey frame and sample are updated annually to ensure that the sample remains representative of the target population.


SEASONALLY ADJUSTED AND TREND ESTIMATES

18 Original estimates only are available, with a view to publish seasonally adjusted and trend estimates in the future.


COMPARABILITY WITH NATIONAL ACCOUNTS AND OTHER ESTIMATES

19 Since June quarter 2012, the new quarterly Survey of Consumer Sales - Energy Retailing has collected data to provide new indicators of household expenditure for categories currently outside the scope of Retail Trade. The experimental estimates will differ from corresponding HFCE energy statistics. More detail on the compilation of HFCE is available from Australian System of National Accounts: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 5216.0).

20 Many ABS publications are classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) 2006 (cat. no. 1292.0). Outputs from the Survey of Consumer Sales - Energy Retailing are not classified according to ANZSIC and are instead classified by activity with reference to COICOP. The aim of this classification is to survey all businesses which sell energy to consumers, including those businesses for which energy retailing may be a secondary activity.

21 The experimental estimates are not comparable to the value of energy sales published in the Business Indicators, Australia (cat. no. 5676.0) and Australian Industry (cat. no. 8155.0) because the estimates within these publications are classified according to ANZSIC and do not exclude sales to business customers and government customers.


GENERAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

22 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated; without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.


RELATED PUBLICATIONS

23 Users may also wish to refer to the following:
24 As well as the statistics included in this and related publications, the ABS may have other relevant data available. Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.


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