5259.0 - Australian National Accounts: Information and Communication Technology Satellite Account, 2002-03  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/03/2006  First Issue
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product



The ABS has invested considerable resources in establishing and maintaining a comprehensive, high quality suite of ICT statistics. These statistics provided the basic building blocks of the ICT satellite account. They were supported by ABS Balance of Payments (BOP) and International Trade data, and by the annual Economic Activity Survey (EAS) that collected a range of ICT-related data items for the reference year 2002-03.

The following diagram provides an overview of ABS statistics used in the ICT satellite account. It describes whether the source primarily provided financial or non-financial information, and whether the source supported supply-side or demand-side (or both) estimates of ICT.

Diagram: ICT supply and use - key statistics

The remainder of this section describes the main data sources used in the satellite account, along with details on the specific use made of each source.


This is a biennial survey collecting data on the production and distribution of ICT goods and services by businesses in Australia. Its scope relates to a set of goods and services considered to be 'ICT' in nature. The scope of these products has been agreed to by major policy and industry organisations within Australia and is described in Appendices 2 and 3. This survey targets specific businesses where it is known that significant ICT production occurs, that is, those businesses recorded on the Australian Business Register (ABR) which are classified to the group of ANZSIC classes as described in Appendix 2.

By targeting these industries (manufacturers of ICT goods, wholesalers of ICT goods, and providers of computer hardware and software-related services and telecommunication services) ICTIS captures information on the most significant producers of ICT products in Australia. However, by restricting the scope to a relatively narrow range of industries, ICTIS does not capture ICT-related activity where such activity is a secondary activity of a business.


The ABS conducts an economy-wide annual survey (EAS) covering non-general government units. Data directly collected by the ABS are combined with income tax data provided by businesses to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to create a comprehensive data source. The survey collects a range of data, including details on business income, expenses and capital formation. Results are produced by ANZSIC industry and are a key input to the core national accounts.

EAS also provided information on business usage of ICT-related products. EAS 2002-03 collected the following ICT-related data items: telecommunication expenses; expenses related to ICT contractors and consultants; computer software purchases expensed; computer software purchases capitalised (including, separately, capitalised own account computer software); and capital expenditure on communications equipment and computer hardware (including computer peripherals).


Australia is one of the few countries that comprehensively measures the use of ICT by general government units. Government Technology (cat. no. 8119.0) presents data on use of ICT by federal, State/territory and local general government organisations. GTS 2002-03 was a significantly enhanced collection in comparison to previous ABS surveys of ICT use by general government and collected a similar range of ICT data to EAS 2002-03. Significantly, the scope of GTS 2002-03 was extended to include general government educational organisations.

The following data items were used in the ICT satellite account: ICT employment; telecommunication expenses; expenses related to ICT contractors and consultants; computer software purchases expensed; computer software purchases capitalised (including, separately, capitalised own account computer software); capital expenditure on communication equipment; and capital expenditure on computer hardware (including computer peripherals).


Household use of Information Technology (cat. no. 8146.0) publications for 2002 and 2003 presented a range of information related to household use of computers, the Internet and other technologies. This information was used to support assumptions made in various modelling exercises conducted in the compilation of the satellite account, and in validating ABS Household Expenditure Survey (HES) estimates of household spending on ICT products. HUIT does not collect data on household spending on ICT and so otherwise had limited use in the satellite account.


Business Use of Information Technology (cat. no. 8129.0) publications for 1997-98, 1999-2000 and 2002-03 presented a range of information on business use of computers, the Internet and other technologies. BUIT information was used to show changes in business use of selected technologies, by industry, across a number of years. BUIT does not collect information on business spending on ICT and so otherwise had limited use in the satellite account.


The Internet Activity Survey is a census of Internet Service Providers (ISPs), now conducted annually, that collects details on various aspects of Internet access services. It provides information on the number and characteristics of Internet subscribers and on the volume of data downloaded - by access technology and by subscriber type.

IAS does not collect financial information, which limited its use in the ICT satellite account. However, it provided data used in estimating the breakdown of ISP spending between household and non-household units.


The ABS compiles statistics on the import and export of goods using information supplied by exporters and importers (or their agents) to the Australian Customs Service (ACS). Information on the import and export of services is sourced from the ABS Survey of International Trade in Services. For imports and exports of ICT products, the range of goods and services considered to be 'ICT' is consistent across ICTIS, the ICT satellite account and ABS Balance of Payments and International Trade.


The ABS collects information on business and government R&D expenditure across major R&D fields. The R&D fields of relevance to the ICT satellite account are: computer software; communication technologies; and other information, computing and communication sciences.


Household Expenditure Survey: Detailed Expenditure Items, 2003-04 (cat. no. 6535.0.55.001) presents information about the expenditure, income and characteristics of households resident in private dwellings throughout Australia for 2003-04. HES data supported the following estimates of HFCE in the satellite account: computer hardware; telecommunication equipment; packaged computer software; Internet provider services; and other telecommunication services.

HES and the satellite account relate to different reference periods, however no adjustment has been made to account for the likely price and volume effects. These effects are difficult to accurately account for and the combined price and volume impact is thought to be relatively small.


LFS supplies key data on ICT-related employment. It collects employment data by occupation type and by industry of employment. These data are of interest in their own right and also supported modelling exercises used to generate estimates of own account production of computer software in the satellite account.