1504.0 - Methodological News, Sep 2009  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/09/2009   
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ABS Collaborates with UNSW to Tackle the Tough Problems of Productivity Measurement

Productivity is regarded as a key driver of economic growth, and indexes of productivity are used for a range of policy and government decision-making purposes. However, measurement problems persist in the area of productivity, and are likely to become exacerbated over time with the development of new goods and services.

The ABS has launched a research collaboration with the University of New South Wales (UNSW), through Professor Kevin Fox, and the Productivity Commission (PC) to explore complex problems in productivity measurement. Based on an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant, the objectives of the project are to research some difficult areas of productivity measurement and interpretation, namely, the role of public sector infrastructure, service industry price and volume measurement, and the treatment of research and development expenditures. All three of these areas are of direct relevance and importance to the ABS in measuring GDP, CPI, the compilation of the National Accounts, as well as other key economic indicators.

The Methodology and Data Management Division, together with the National Accounts Branch, the Prices Branch and the Economic Analysis and Reporting Branch, form the core of ABS participation in the research project. The project will continue for five years, during which time the ABS will be an active contributor in terms of supporting the research, analysis and the development of methods that can be used to enhance key ABS economic outputs.

For more information about the project, contact Ruel Abello on (02) 6252 6307 or ruel.abello@abs.gov.au.