1. This publication defines a conceptual 'map' relating data in the fields of household income, consumption, saving and wealth, and as such provides a basis for improved understanding of the issues involved in collecting and relating such data. It also lays the foundation for further development of statistics relating to the economic well-being of households and should enable better dialogue between users and producers of statistics, nationally and internationally.
2. A Provisional Framework for Household Income, Consumption, Saving and Wealth (ICW) is a first attempt by the ABS at providing a consistent and integrated outline of the economic resources available to households and a description of the concepts, definitions and classifications needed when attempting to measure economic well-being. The description is designed to be internally consistent in respect of individual households but also to relate concepts at the household level with those at a national level. The framework has not been restricted to existing measures but discusses new measures suggesting possible definitions and classifications. Future versions of the framework will reflect continuing changes in international guidelines relating to such areas as household income and expenditure statistics, national accounts and statistics of labour income. They will also reflect ongoing discussion within the ABS and the user community.
3. In developing this framework, the ABS has drawn on related ABS standards and on frameworks published by several international organisations. The international standards used include the Provisional Guidelines on Statistics of the Distribution of Income, Consumption and Accumulation of Households (UN 1977), the System of National Accounts 1993 (prepared under the auspices of the Inter-Secretariat Working Group on National Accounts with representatives of the United Nations, Commission of the European Community, International Monetary Fund, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) and various recommendations published by the International Labour Organisation since the early 1970s. A detailed comparison of components of the ICW framework and components of the Australian National Accounts and the System of National Accounts (SNA93) is contained in an appendix. Codifying the linkages it identifies between macro and micro income, consumption, saving and wealth data is a necessary prerequisite to the future development of social accounts for Australia.
4. We would welcome your comments on the concepts, definitions and classifications described in this framework, and they should be addressed to:
Social Analysis, Income and Welfare,
Australian Bureau of Statistics
PO Box 10
Belconnen, ACT 2616 Australia
W. McLennan Australian Bureau of Statistics