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APPENDIX 2 EXPERIMENTAL ESTIMATES OF CONSUMER SALES
TIMING OF SURVEY CYCLE
9 Surveys are conducted in respect of each quarter and returns are completed during the eight or nine week period after the end of the quarter to which the survey data relate. E.g. December quarter returns are completed during January and February.
DEFINITION OF CONSUMER SALES
10 For the purposes of this publication, "consumer sales" are the value of sales to consumer customers. A consumer customer includes households, individuals and all other customers who are not corporate, business and government customers.
11 The Survey of Consumer Sales - Energy Retailing further details a consumer customer as a residential customer who:
12 Many ABS publications are classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) 2006 (cat. no. 1292.0). Outputs from the Survey of Consumer Sales are not classified according to ANZSIC and are instead classified by activity with reference to the Classification of Individual Consumption according to Purpose (COICOP). The aim of this classification is to survey businesses which sell services to consumers, allowing for those businesses for which the surveyed activity may be a secondary activity.
13 Energy retailing activity is defined with reference to the COICOP category "Electricity, Gas and Other fuels". Electricity retailing is the sale of electricity to consumer customers. Gas retailing is the sale of town and natural gas to consumer customers. The sale of liquefied hydrocarbons (e.g. LPG) is currently excluded, though these are included in the COICOP category for gas.
14 Telecommunication services retailing is defined with reference to COICOP category "Telephone and telefax services". Telecommunication services retailing is the sale of mobile services, fixed line phone services and fixed internet services to consumer customers.
SCOPE AND COVERAGE
15 The scope of the Energy Retailing collection is all businesses that hold a licence obtained from a regulatory body to operate as an energy retailer. Energy generation and distribution activities are outside the scope of the survey.
16 The frame used for the Energy Retailing collection is taken from a registry list of all operating energy retailers in Australia produced by the Energy Supply Association of Australia (ESAA).
17 The scope of the Communication Services collection includes those telephone and internet service providers that retail to consumer customers in Australia. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are defined as those who operate in Australia and supply internet connectivity and access services to consumer customers. Libraries, internet kiosks, internet cafes and hotspots that provide internet access on a casual basis are excluded.
18 The frame used for the Communication Services collection is drawn from the Internet Activity Survey (IAS) (cat. no. 8153.0). The population frame for this survey is produced from a list of ISPs sourced from the Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman, with whom ISPs are required to register. Currently the coverage of the Communication Services collection is limited to the top size category used in the IAS, which is defined as a 'very large ISP' having 100,001 or more subscribers. Further details on the IAS frame are provided in the IAS explanatory notes.
19 The Survey of Consumer Sales aims to measure expenditure by consumer customers on services. For this reason, the estimates are broader than the income received by retailers, including for example; the Goods and Services Tax (GST), government concessions, discounts and solar rebates.
20 The Survey of Consumer Sales is conducted electronically on a quarterly basis and may include Government-owned and/or controlled Public Non-Financial Corporations.
21 The statistical unit used to represent each energy retailer is sourced from the ABS Business Register (ABSBR). The majority of the businesses within scope of this survey are large businesses with the statistical unit being the Type of Activity Unit (TAU). However there are a few units where the Australian Business Number (ABN) is the statistical unit and is suitable for ABS statistical needs when the business is simple in structure.
22 Service providers are asked to provide consumer sales data on an accrual basis. Where a selected unit does not respond in a given survey period, a value is estimated. If data are subsequently provided, the estimated value is replaced with the reported data. Aggregates are calculated from all the data by summing the individual unit level data. Data are edited at both individual unit level and aggregate level.
23 The Survey of Consumer Sales - Energy Retailing is based on a complete enumeration of businesses that have been identified as holding a licence to retail electricity and/or gas to consumer customers.
24 The Survey of Consumer Sales - Communication Services is based on a sampled enumeration of businesses that have been identified as active ISPs.
25 The survey frame and sample are updated annually to ensure that the sample remains representative of the target population.
SEASONALLY ADJUSTED AND TREND ESTIMATES
26 Original estimates only are available, with a view to publish seasonally adjusted and trend estimates in the future.
COMPARABILITY WITH NATIONAL ACCOUNTS AND OTHER ESTIMATES
27 The Survey of Consumer Sales has collected data to provide new indicators of household expenditure for categories currently outside the scope of Retail Trade. The experimental estimates presented in this publication will differ from corresponding HFCE statistics as published in Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product (cat. no. 5206.0). More detail on the compilation of HFCE is available from Australian System of National Accounts: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 5216.0).
28 The Communication Services estimates presented in this publication are estimates derived from revenue data obtained from major telecommunication service providers only and include telephone and internet services only. The aggregate excludes Postal Services and the sale of equipment.
29 The experimental estimates are not comparable to the value of energy sales published in the Business Indicators, Australia (cat. no. 5676.0) and Australian Industry (cat. no. 8155.0) because the estimates within these publications are classified according to ANZSIC and do not exclude sales to business customers and government customers.
30 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated; without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.
31 As well as the statistics included in this and related publications, the ABS have other relevant data available. Enquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.
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