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5209.0.55.001 - Australian National Accounts: Input-Output Tables - Electronic Publication, 2005-06 Preliminary Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/10/2009   
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Institutional Environment

For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.

Relevance

Input Output (I-O) tables are a part of the Australian national accounts.

The standards governing national accounts are agreed internationally, and detailed in the "System of National Accounts 1993" (SNA93). SNA93 is endorsed by the five major international economic organisations: the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the OECD, the World Bank and the European Commission. The current complete version of SNA93 is available on-line:
http://unstats.un.org/unsd/sna1993/toctop.asp. A new version of the SNA is now being prepared and is due to be published in 2009.

The Australian national accounts differ from the recommendations in the SNA93 in certain cases where the data is not available to meet these requirements, or it is not considered practical to adhere to the standards. For more information on the differences between the Australian national accounts and the SNA93 please see
Australian National Accounts: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 5216.0).

Input Output tables depart from SNA93 and from the rest of the Australian national accounts in one main respect, namely the definition of output at basic prices. The departure relates to the treatment of charges incurred in moving goods from their point of production to the final user, where delivery charges relating to delivery by a third party operator arranged by the producer and paid for by the producer and not separately charged to the end user are treated differently in SNA93.

Under the previous (1968) version of the System of National Accounts (SNA68) these charges were excluded from the basic price valuation of the good concerned while under the SNA93 treatment the basic price valuation of the good includes these delivery charges. The ABS considers that the change in definition was inappropriate from an analytical point of view and would result in the same product being valued differently depending whether or not the producer charged separately for the delivery of the product. The ABS therefore applies an adjustment to the input output tables to reallocate delivery charges separably invoiced to transport, so including them in transport margins and reducing basic prices.

In the 2005-06 I-O tables the value of this adjustment is $10,081m. It is applied to industries and products in agriculture, mining and manufacturing and based on questions on collection forms about invoicing arrangements and transport expenses.

Timeliness

The annual Input Output tables are published three years after the reference period because of the need to acquire annual data from key sources, compile the Supply Use Tables and then compile the I-O tables from the higher level Supply Use tables.

Accuracy

Accuracy remains the main focus of ABS quality control. However, due to the variety of data sources and the compilation methodology for Input Output tables an objective accuracy measure, such as the relative standard error of a statistic collected in a sample survey is impossible to produce.

Input Output tables use a large number of data sources, which are of varying quality and frequency. These range from, for example, data on merchandise trade which is of high quality and frequency due to the complete enumeration of imports and exports recorded as part of the customs clearance process, to data on product supply or intermediate usage which may, depending on the product and industry, be based on annual or occasional ABS surveys, or non-ABS sources such as ABARE and state mines department statistics.

The limitations surrounding the data sources, age of data, the availability of detailed product level supply and use data mean that to a greater or lesser extent a significant part of the detailed I-O data is extrapolated from previous information. These estimates are then confronted, reallocated and balanced against other cells within the I-O table framework, with more credence being given to some data sources over others.

These processes result in individual components being modelled and adjusted, and this is particularly true for those with relatively small values.

Users should therefore be cautious when considering isolated fragments of the tables, especially details at the product level and or when looking at the supply or use of products that may be related to an activity or industry but are being analysed outside the economic structure of the I-O tables.

The I-O tables contain data formatted for presentation in millions of dollars. For use by some analysts and modellers, the data in the actual Excel spreadsheets contains additional decimal places to facilitate loading into other applications. As a consequence of the techniques used to fully populate and balance the tables relatively small values may be estimated in certain cells but the statistical accuracy of these data cannot be verified. Where values less than $1m are shown, they are solely to facilitate reconciliation, row and column balancing and do not carry any economic meaning.

The result is a coherent picture of the economy and the significant relationships in it, at a point in time; however users should not interpret I-O data as they would directly collected administrative or survey data.

The Input Output Product Details (ABS Cat, no, 5215.0.55.001, formerly known as the 'Commodity Cards' ) represent a very fine disaggregation of the 109 I-O Product Group level data presented in the main tables. Due to the degree of modelling used in the main tables, the I-O tables at the 109 IOPG level are more robust than the more detailed data at the IOPC based detailed product level and the extent and impact of the required modelling makes this dataset less robust than the standard that the ABS would normally apply. However the ABS has concluded that, even with these quality concerns, the Product Details are a very rich dataset containing much information that is not available from any other source, and provided it is used with some caution, its value outweighs these concerns.


Coherence

The coherence of data is an aspect of quality closely associated with accuracy, both within the national accounts system, and compared with the partial indicators of the economy. A major unifying feature within the Australian System of National Accounts is the use of supply and use methodology to confront the data and balance the components of GDP in annual terms.

Input Output (I-O) tables are an expansion of the Supply Use (SU) tables, which are used for benchmarking the annual national accounts and to deliver annual revisions to specific published estimates, and they disaggregate the gross domestic product account showing inter-industry flows of goods and services.

As such they reflect exactly the same measure of gross domestic product for the reference year as that published in the most recent national accounts annual publication at the time of release of the I-O tables (Australian National Accounts 5204.0)

The ABS publishes a large amount of data on many aspects of the economy, both periodically and in the form of occasional surreys of particular industries or activities. Many of these, especially annual publications and occasional product surveys, are used in the I-O tables via the national accounts quarterly and annual supply-use balancing process and so are relatable to the I-O tables. However the data as presented in the I-O tables may differ in detail from the source data because of the I-O data confrontation and balancing processes, scope and coverage differences between individual publications and the national accounts, and adjustments and additions due to economic activity not generally collected in industry surveys such as gross fixed capital formation and use of financial services.


Interpretability

Input Output tables disaggregate and describe the gross domestic product account in terms of the flows through the economy of the supply of goods and services from producers (domestic and a non-resident) to their users and uses. They present a detailed analysis of the process of production, the use of goods and services of that production at basic as well as producer prices, along with details on taxes, subsides and various types of margins.

The presentation of much of the I-O tables at basic prices, the disaggregation of the various taxes, subsides and margins components of purchasers prices, presentation of intermediate and final demand and various ratios is unlike the presentation of other economic statistics and users may want to refer to the Glossary of common I-O terms to help interpret the tables.

Accessibility

For links to all national accounts related data and publications, recent national accounts changes and forthcoming events, relevant websites and a range of other information about the Australian National Accounts, please see the
National Accounts Theme page.

For more detailed information about the quality dimensions of the Australian National Accounts please see the
Information Paper: Quality Dimensions of the Australian National Accounts, Australia 2007 (cat. no. 5216.0.55.002).

The I-O tables in Excel spreadsheets can be downloaded from the the 'Downloads' tab on this page.


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