New Capital Expenditure (Survey of)

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    Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)

    The Survey of New Capital Expenditure is a quarterly survey which collects estimates of actual and expected new capital expenditure by private businesses in Australia. Private households and public sector business units (ie all departments, authorities and other organisations owned and controlled by Commonwealth, State or Local Government) are outside the scope of the survey. Data are released at national and state/territory level. At the national level, current price data are published by asset type by industry division, and chain volume measures are published by asset type and by broad industry (Mining, Manufacturing and Other selected industries). At the state/territory level, current price data are published by asset type and by broad industry.

    This survey provides key measures on the performance of Australian industry, and is an important component of the quarterly National Accounts. The data are used to compile estimates of private gross fixed capital expenditure, and estimates of expected capital expenditure. The data are used by economic analysts in the private and public sectors.

    This survey aims to measure the value of actual and expected new capital expenditure by private businesses in Australia.

    The Survey of New Capital Expenditure includes the following industries classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial
    Classification, ANZSIC, 1993:

    Mining (Division B)
    Manufacturing (Division C)
    Food, beverage and tobacco (21)
    Textiles, clothing, footwear and leather (22)
    Wood and paper products (23)
    Printing, publishing and recorded media (24)
    Petroleum, coal, chemical and associated products (25)
    Non-metallic mineral products (26)
    Metal products (27)
    Machinery and equipment (28)
    Other manufacturing (29)
    Other Selected Industries, comprising:
    Construction (Division E)
    Wholesale trade (Division F)
    Retail trade (Division G)
    Transport and storage (Division I)
    Finance and insurance (Division K)
    Property and business services (Division L)
    Other selected services (including electricity & gas; communication;
    accommodation, cafes and restaurants; cultural & recreational services; and
    personal services (36, 37, 57, 71, 91, 92, 93, 95)

    The survey excludes the following industries:

    Agriculture, forestry and fishing
    Government administration and defence
    Health and community services
    Other services (96)

    The scope excludes public sector business units (i.e. all departments, authorities and other organisations owned and controlled by Commonwealth, State and Local Government).

    Non-employing businesses are also excluded from the scope. Though there are a substantial number of these businesses, it is expected that they would not contribute significantly to the estimates, although the impact would vary from industry to industry.


    Conceptual framework
    Standard ABS integrated economic statistics framework.

    Main outputs

    Population: private sector employing businesses in Australia

    Characteristics of Interest:
    Actual capital expenditure incurred during the reference period (Act)
    A short term capital expenditure expectation (E1)
    A longer term capital expenditure expectation (E2).

Timing and construction of survey cycle

    Type of Statistics:

    For Australia

    Level estimates of private new capital expenditure;
    Original, Seasonal and Trend;
    Current Prices and Chain Volume Measures;
    Actual and Expected;
    Realisation Ratios:

    By State:

    Level estimates of private new capital expenditure;
    Original, Seasonal and Trend;
    Current Prices;
    Actual (all quarters) and Expected (December qtrs only);
    Realisation Ratios (December qtrs only).

    Data Breakdown

    Type of Asset


    The industry classification used is the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industry Classification 1993 (ANZSIC).

    In addition, the survey releases data by type of asset :

    Buildings and Structures.
    Includes industrial and commercial buildings, houses, flats, home units, water and sewerage installations, lifts, heating, ventilating and similar equipment forming an integral part of buildings and structures, land development and construction site development, roads, bridges, wharves, harbours, railway lines, pipelines, power and telephone lines.

    Also includes mine development (e.g. construction of shafts in underground mines, preparation of mining and quarrying sites for open cut extraction and other developmental operations primarily for commencing or extending production).

    Excludes purchases of land, previously occupied buildings and speculatively built projects intended for sale before occupation.

    Equipment, plant and machinery.
    Includes plant, machinery, vehicles, electrical apparatus, office equipment, furniture, fixtures and fittings not forming an integral part of buildings, durable containers, special tooling, etc.

    Also includes goods imported for the first time whether previously used outside Australia or not.

    Other concepts (summary)
    The Survey of New Capital Expenditure collects data from Management Units and uses standard ABS data items.

    New South Wales
    South Australia
    Western Australia
    Northern Territory

    Comments and/or Other Regions
    Not applicable


    Frequency comments
    Not applicable


    1947 Commencement of the Survey of New Capital Expenditure (half-yearly) comprising a sample of private businesses subject to payroll tax.

    1958 Survey becomes quarterly.

    1969 Survey becomes an integrated economic collection adopting standard units rules and the 1969 version of the Australian Standard Industrial Classification (ASIC).

    1973 Integration of Economic Censuses and Business Surveys. This involved significant changes to scope, coverage, definition of items and the conceptual basis for the survey. The statistical (reporting) unit was changed to the enterprise, and state data was collected twice yearly in the June and December quarters.

    1989 Introduction of new statistical unit called the management unit. State data collected every quarter.

    1994 ASIC replaced by the Australian and New Zealand Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) as the basis for compilation of industry estimates.

    1996 Survey frames and samples revised quarterly (previously these were revised annually) to ensure samples are more representative of the business population. In addition, the timing of sample selection was synchronised with other ABS economic surveys to provide for greater consistency when comparing data across collections.

    1997 Sample redesigned to include State/territory as a stratification variable.

    1998 From September quarter 1998, as with other economic collections, chain volume measures replaced constant price estimates as the measure of real expenditure.

    2000 The Goods and Services Tax (GST) comes into effect, and replaces the wholesale sales tax which was included in the value of much of the expenditure measured in the survey. Survey estimates exclude GST where this is recoverable as an input tax credit.

    2002 Release of state/territory estimates brought forward to the same timing as the national estimates. Cessation of state publication (ABS Cat. No. 5646.0) with capital expenditure by type of asset for each state/territory included in the national publication and the introduction of chain volume measures for this series. Other state estimates released via AusStats.


    Data availability comments
    Data are released quarterly in Private New Capital Expenditure, Australia (ABS Cat. No. 5625.0). National and state/territory data are released 9 weeks after the reference period, except in the June quarter when the data are released 10 weeks after the reference period.

    28/04/2003 08:53 AM