For many years, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has been compiling and publishing a range of separate producer price indexes and international trade price indexes, each relating to a particular sector of the economy.
An economy-wide Stage of Production (SOP) index model has been developed to provide a framework for bringing together the range of detailed price data contained in the separate indexes to enhance the analytical value of the data. The SOP framework is based on an economic categorisation of transactions according to their sequencing in the production chain.
SOP index series have been constructed as experimental measures, with the index structures and weighting patterns initially based on 1989–90 Input-Output tables. Once established, the SOP indexes will be based on more recent Input-Output tables and incorporate frequent reweighting and chaining.
The experimental indexes have been compiled on a quarterly and annual basis commencing with 1991–92 and are presented in part A of this paper, along with index structures and weighting patterns.
Conceptually the scope of the new framework relates to the output of all the goods and services industries in the economy. In practice the coverage of the initial experimental indexes is limited to goods producing industries, excluding construction. Further, a fully articulated data model would embrace other key aggregates from the Input-Output framework, in particular compensation of employees. A brief description of such a data model is provided in chapter 5 of part A.
Experimental producer price index series relating to the output of a selection of service industries are presented in part B. After reasonable coverage of the services sector of the economy is achieved, it will be possible to incorporate the new data within the price indexes compiled under the SOP model.
Issues for further consideration
The ABS welcomes views on the work undertaken to date on the development of experimental price indexes for service industries, the plausibility of the results obtained and on priorities for future development of indexes.