Productivity statistics aim to measure technical progress or the efficiency of production. In practice, they measure the difference between the growth in the volume of output and the growth in the volume of inputs, which reflects more than just technical progress. In particular, changes in unmeasured inputs are captured in the measure of productivity. The ABS regularly engages with key users to improve the estimates and bring productivity closer to its conceptual definition. There is a growing consensus among analysts that inclusion of mineral and energy resources will improve the interpretability and overall fitness for purpose of productivity measures in the mining industry.
Improvements in the valuation of mineral and energy resources have recently been incorporated in the Australian System of National Accounts (ASNA) (cat. no. 5204.0). These improvements enable the ABS to include a measure of natural resources in the inputs for the mining industry. From the December 2014 release of Estimates of Industry Multifactor Productivity (cat. no. 5260.0.55.002), the ABS will introduce experimental estimates of mining multi factor productivity (MFP) which accounts for changes in mineral and energy resources inputs.
Productivity measures which do not measure mineral and energy resources for the mining industry will continue to be maintained in the core productivity tables. Similarly, productivity measures for the market sector published in the next ASNA will not include mineral and energy resources.