The Economic Statistics program provides a range of statistics that are used by governments, businesses and community groups to: formulate and assess economic policies (at both macro and micro level); evaluate economic performance; understand the drivers of economic growth; and understand the structure of, and emerging trends in, the Australian economy. State, territory and regional dimensions to these issues are important, and emphasis is given to servicing these statistical needs. The international comparability of economic statistics is a key aspect, of which the ABS plays an active role.
The ABS framework for economic statistics is based on the United Nations System of National Accounts 1993 (SNA). The SNA provides a comprehensive framework for compiling economic data in a coherent and consistent manner for the purposes of economic analysis.
At the broad level, the activities undertaken within the Economic Statistics program include:
The work schedule of the Economic Statistics program is determined after extensive consultation with governments, businesses and community groups, and with the advice of the Australian Statistics Advisory Council.
- collection, processing, analysis and dissemination of economic, environment and energy statistics
- coordination of the statistical activities of other agencies through the Statistical Clearing House, participation in national and state statistical committees, ABS outposted officers, and statistical consultancy services
- provision of professional statistical support
- development, maintenance and promotion of statistical standards, classifications and frameworks for the collection of economic statistics.
In determining the work program account is taken of the:
Individual components within the Economic Statistics program have close links with: a wide range of government departments and agencies providing data; users of statistical information; and clients of the statistical coordination and consultancy services. The statistical activities of other agencies complement the activities of the Economic Statistics program, resulting in a comprehensive national statistical service.
- needs of key users
- benefit of statistics to decision makers and researchers
- load on providers
- availability of skilled resources to undertake the work
- costs associated with the activities.
The effectiveness and efficiency of the Economic Statistics program is enhanced by significant and wide ranging input from the ABS corporate and statistical support areas. These inputs include methodological, technological, dissemination, human resource and financial support.
Appendix 1 lists the components of the Economic Statistics program.