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8501.0 - Retail Trade, Australia, Jun 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/07/2008   
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FORTHCOMING CHANGES


RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

A note in the May 2008 issue of this publication advised of significant changes to the Retail Business Survey occurring from the July 2008 reference month. The changes include an approximate two-thirds reduction in the sample size used to create monthly estimates. This note repeats the summary of key changes and provides additional information on the new quarterly output to be provided from the redesigned survey.


KEY CHANGES TO THE RETAIL BUSINESS SURVEY

The key changes to be made to the Retail Business Survey and this publication are:

  • the aim of the survey will be to produce a quarterly series with similar detail (apart from the industries mentioned below which are now excluded) to that released in the current monthly publication whilst maintaining a broad level monthly series
  • a new sampling methodology will be adopted whereby each sampled business is only required to provide data for one month in each quarter
  • commentary in the monthly publication will focus on the trend series
  • there will be a new separate quarterly publication which will include commentary on seasonally adjusted series
  • Hotels and licensed clubs and Selected service industries will be excluded from the survey.

There will be increased volatility in month to month movements in the original and seasonally adjusted series because of the smaller sample size and the rotation effect of having a different third of the sample reporting each month.


DELAY TO THE JULY ISSUE

The July monthly issue will be released on 9 September 2008. This is one week later than the previously published release date. This delay is required to provide sufficient time to fully validate changes to the historical series and electronic spreadsheets. Subsequent monthly issues will be released according to the published schedule.


MONTHLY OUTPUT

Monthly output from the redesigned Retail Business Survey will be considerably less detailed than that currently available monthly. State by industry data will not be available monthly and industry detail will only be available at the broader group level.

Only trend data (level, percentage change from previous month and percentage change from same month in the previous year) will be presented in the tables included in the publication. The original and seasonally adjusted estimates will have increased volatility from the new sampling methodology and are considered of limited use for measuring month to month movements. However, for analytical purposes seasonally adjusted and original data will be made available in the time series data spreadsheets provided with this publication on the ABS website.

Trend data will be provided for Australia, industry groups and State totals. Industry groups to be included in the publication are Food retailing (excluding takeaway food retailing), Cafes restaurants and takeaway food services, Department stores, Clothing and soft good retailing, Household good retailing and Other retailing (including the Recreational good retailing industry which is currently shown separately in this publication).

The following series will be available from the Details tab of this publication to assist users in their understanding of the trend series and enable them to undertake their own detailed analysis:
  • retail turnover level by industry group - original, seasonally adjusted and trend
  • retail turnover percentage change from previous month by industry group - original, seasonally adjusted and trend
  • retail turnover percentage change from same month in the previous year by industry group - original, seasonally adjusted and trend
  • retail turnover relative standard errors by industry group - original
  • retail turnover level by state - original, seasonally adjusted and trend
  • retail turnover percentage change from previous month by state - original, seasonally adjusted and trend
  • retail turnover percentage change from same month in the previous year by state - original, seasonally adjusted and trend
  • retail turnover relative standard errors by state - original
  • retail turnover completely enumerated sector total level - original, seasonally adjusted and trend.

Appropriate caveats will be included with the above series advising that care needs to be exercised when using the original and seasonally adjusted series. The monthly publication will retain catalogue number 8501.0 but will be renamed Retail Trade Trends, Australia.


QUARTERLY OUTPUT

While the level of detail that will be released quarterly is yet to be finalised, it is likely that the quarterly output will include:
  • the same six industry groups as in the monthly publication described above but at the state level - original, seasonally adjusted and trend
  • 15 more detailed industry sub-groups at the state level - original, seasonally adjusted and trend
  • retail turnover percentage change from previous month by state by industry sub-group - original, seasonally adjusted and trend
  • retail turnover percentage change from same month in the previous year by state by industry sub-group - original, seasonally adjusted and trend
  • retail turnover relative standard errors by industry group and industry sub-group - original
  • retail turnover relative standard errors by state - original
  • retail turnover completely enumerated sector total level - original, seasonally adjusted and trend
  • chain volume measures estimates at a similar level of detail as currently provided quarterly but estimates will be directly seasonally adjusted rather than aggregated from monthly seasonally adjusted estimates (as is currently done).

The quarterly publication will have a separate catalogue number and will be released two weeks after the release in respect of the last month of the quarter.

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