Australian Bureau of Statistics

Rate the ABS website
ABS Home > Statistics > By Catalogue Number
ABS @ Facebook ABS @ Twitter ABS RSS ABS Email notification service
5216.0.55.002 - Information Paper: Quality Dimensions of the Australian National Accounts, 2007  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/08/2007  First Issue
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product  
Contents >> Revisions to the National Accounts >> Availability of information on revisions

AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION ON REVISIONS

At present, the following indicative information is provided:

  • Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product (cat. no. 5206.0) - Tables detail revisions to the recent eight quarters for GDP and its expenditure, income and industry components. Additionally, the publication contains commentary in the 'Analysis and comments' section on major sources of revisions. Finally, the explanatory notes provide some discussion of the sources of revisions and the accuracy of the estimates more generally.
  • Australian System of National Accounts (cat. no. 5204.0) - The major sources of revisions are documented within the 'Analysis of results' section.
  • Occasionally, more detailed studies have been made available.

The ABS has recently reviewed its strategy for the analysis of revisions to the national accounts and has decided to formalise a process to undertake regular revisions analysis and to make the results available to users. This is in keeping with developing ABS thinking about data quality declarations more generally for its statistical outputs. The strategy for the national accounts revisions related data is described below.



(1) Real-time database of national accounts data

So called real-time databases, also referred to as data-triangles, show how a given (published) estimate for a particular period progresses over time. One axis of the triangle shows the various publication dates and the other axis shows the reference period. Initial estimates for each quarter are shown along the diagonal. A data triangle containing limited vintages of growth percentage change data together with a derived triangle showing quarter to quarter revisions in percentage points are illustrated below.


Real-time databases can be time consuming to produce initially because they involve assembling a large amount of historical data that may or may not be stored electronically. However, it is a prerequisite for systematic studies of revisions.

GDP growth rates, Chain volume measures - Seasonally adjusted - 2003 -2006

MQ03
JQ03
SQ03
DQ03
MQ04
JQ04
SQ04
DQ04
MQ05
JQ05
SQ05
DQ03
MQ06
JQ06
SQ06
DQ06
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

Mar 03
0.7
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
Jun 03
0.6
0.1
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
Sep 03
0.7
0.3
1.2
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
Dec 03
0.9
0.3
1.3
1.4
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
Mar 04
0.9
0.3
1.4
1.3
0.2
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
Jun 04
0.8
0.2
1.6
1.3
0.5
0.6
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
Sep 04
0.8
0.4
1.7
1.5
0.5
0.8
0.3
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
Dec 04
0.7
0.4
1.7
1.6
0.4
0.7
0.2
0.1
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
Mar 05
0.7
0.4
1.7
1.7
0.3
0.7
0.2
0.3
0.7
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
Jun 05
0.8
0.2
1.7
1.6
0.4
0.6
0.4
0.3
0.5
1.3
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
Sep 05
0.9
0.1
1.6
1.8
0.7
0.5
0.2
0.4
0.7
1.3
0.2
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
Dec 05
0.9
0.1
1.7
1.6
0.8
0.5
0.4
0.3
0.7
1.3
0.3
0.5
. .
. .
. .
. .
Mar 06
0.9
-
1.7
1.7
0.7
0.5
0.4
0.4
0.7
1.2
0.3
0.7
0.9
. .
. .
. .
Jun 06
0.9
-
1.7
1.7
0.7
0.4
0.5
0.5
0.7
1.3
0.4
0.5
0.7
0.3
. .
. .
Sep 06
0.7
0.2
1.5
2.0
0.6
0.5
0.5
0.4
0.6
1.5
0.4
0.8
0.6
0.5
0.3
. .
Dec 06
0.8
0.2
1.5
1.9
0.7
0.6
0.5
0.2
0.8
1.4
0.4
0.5
0.9
0.5
0.3
1.0

. . not applicable
- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)

GDP growth rates, Chain volume measures - Quarter to quarter revisions: Seasonally adjusted - 2003 -2006

MQ03
JQ03
SQ03
DQ03
MQ04
JQ04
SQ04
DQ04
MQ05
JQ05
SQ05
DQ03
MQ06
JQ06
SQ06
% pts
% pts
% pts
% pts
% pts
% pts
% pts
% pts
% pts
% pts
% pts
% pts
% pts
% pts
% pts

Jun 03
-0.1
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
Sep 03
0.1
0.2
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
Dec 03
0.2
-
0.2
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
Mar 04
-
-
-
-0.1
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
Jun 04
-
-0.2
0.3
0.1
0.3
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
Sep 04
-0.1
0.2
0.1
0.1
-
0.2
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
Dec 04
-0.1
0.1
-
0.1
-0.1
-
-0.1
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
Mar 05
-
-
-
0.1
-
-0.1
-
0.1
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
Jun 05
0.1
-0.2
0.1
-0.1
0.1
-0.1
0.2
-
-0.2
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
Sep 05
-
-0.2
-0.2
0.2
0.3
-0.1
-0.2
-
0.2
-
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
Dec 05
-
-
0.1
-0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
-0.1
-
-
0.1
. .
. .
. .
. .
Mar 06
-
-
-
-
-
-0.1
-
0.1
-
-
-
0.2
. .
. .
. .
Jun 06
-
-
-
-
-
-
0.1
0.1
-
0.1
0.1
-0.2
-0.2
. .
. .
Sep 06
-0.2
0.2
-0.2
0.3
-0.1
0.1
-
-
-0.1
0.2
-
0.2
-0.1
0.2
. .
Dec 06
0.1
-
-
-0.1
0.1
0.1
-
-0.2
0.2
-0.1
-
-0.3
0.3
-
-

. . not applicable
- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)


The ABS had built a real-time data base for a number of the national accounts series for a study that was conducted in the late 1990s. It has been updated on an informal basis since then. A drawback was that it was not integrated into the national accounts output environment and therefore operated as a stand alone system. The ABS is now in the final stages of a project to construct a real-time database incorporating these and later vintages of data on a FAME platform to facilitate the production of revisions statistics and for release in its own right. The database will be updated every time a new issue of the quarterly national accounts is released and it can be made available to users on request.


As already mentioned above, the OECD has recently developed a real time data base for main economic indicators, including chain volume, seasonally adjusted GDP and its expenditure components. The data triangles and associated analytical programs and user guide are freely available on the OECD website. The ABS real-time data base is designed to be compatible with the OECD analytical programs. Users who may want to undertake their own analysis of Australian national accounts data may wish to make use of the OECD analytical spreadsheets.


There are several reasons why users are interested in having access to a real-time data base. Because of the sheer number of data series and vintages in the national accounts, standard revisions analyses such as the one presented at the end of this section represent more of an overview rather than an in-depth analysis. While this is valuable in itself, users can gain further insights if they have the flexibility to look at particular time periods, or the sequence of revisions for a particular initial estimate or data item of interest. Real-time data bases also provide analysts with data they can use to test the sensitivity of economic models to potential revisions in input data. This involves testing econometric models in simulated real time to give a better reflection of how the models might perform in practice using first published estimates.



(2) Ongoing public release of revisions data for selected series

The ABS is planning to make available revisions triangles and revisions statistics for the latest 20 quarterly observations of the growth rate for a few key national accounts series on an ongoing basis. These would be provided on the web shortly after the release of the quarterly national accounts. The data will complement the information on revisions already provided in the quarterly release.



(3) Comprehensive revisions analysis to be undertaken on a less frequent basis

A less frequent, more comprehensive analysis will be made available every few years or on an as needed basis. As far as possible this would use a pre-designed framework in order to maintain consistency over time, and to facilitate international comparisons. It could also be a more in depth study of one particular aspect of revisions. A study of the impact of revisions to seasonal factors is already planned.

Previous PageNext Page


Bookmark and Share. Opens in a new window


Commonwealth of Australia 2014

Unless otherwise noted, content on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence together with any terms, conditions and exclusions as set out in the website Copyright notice. For permission to do anything beyond the scope of this licence and copyright terms contact us.