8155.0 - Australian Industry, 2000-01  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/08/2003   
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This publication presents estimates which are derived using a combination of data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) annual Economic Activity Survey (EAS) and business income tax data provided to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).


The series in this publication have been expanded to include Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) Subdivision 75 Services to finance and insurance. The remaining subdivisions within the Finance and insurance industry division are not included. The 1999-2000 EASTAX estimates included Services to agriculture; hunting and trapping, however, estimates for this subdivision are not available for 2000-01.

The estimates in this publication are recorded exclusive of the Goods and Services Tax, introduced on 1 July 2000.


In April 2000, the ABS released an Information Paper: ABS Statistics and The New Tax System (cat.no.1358.0), which foreshadowed changes in the statistical infrastructure supporting the compilation of ABS economic series. The changes will allow better use of data available from the taxation system to improve efficiency, coverage and sample design of ABS surveys.

In future releases of this publication, estimates will be compiled on a new basis. An Information Paper: Improvements in ABS Economic Statistics [Arising from The New Tax System] (cat.no.1372.0), was released on the 6th May 2002, which describes the forthcoming changes in more detail and provides information about the treatment of statistical impacts of the changes across ABS economic series.


The ABS welcomes feedback from readers regarding the usefulness, range and quality of the data presented and explanations provided.
Please send any comments to: The Director, Economic Activity Surveys Section, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Locked Bag 10, Belconnen ACT 2616. Alternatively, email <clem.tozer@abs.gov.au>.


ABSAustralian Bureau of Statistics
ACTAustralian Capital Territory
ANZSICAustralian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification
ATOAustralian Taxation Office
EASEconomic Activity Survey
EASTAXCombined EAS and income tax data
NSWNew South Wales
NTNorthern Territory
OPBTOperating Profit Before Tax
QBISQuarterly Business Indicator Survey
QEASQuarterly Economic Activity Survey
RSERelative Standard Error
SASouth Australia
SEStandard Error
TNTSThe New Tax System
WAWestern Australia



For a number of years, the ABS has been expanding the range of data sources it uses in order to decrease the statistical reporting load placed on providers, while continuing to increase the range of information available. A major alternate source of data is the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), which collects key economic data for business income tax purposes. Under taxation law, data may be passed by the Commissioner for Taxation to the ABS for statistical purposes. The estimates in this publication have been sourced from a combination of data from the annual Economic Activity Survey (EAS) conducted by the ABS, business income tax data provided to the ATO and information from a range of other ABS direct collections.

This publication is comprised of three Chapters. Chapter one, Introduction, contains an overview of information relating to the production of the EASTAX estimates. Chapter two, Selected industries, contains estimates at the national level, while the third Chapter contains national and state experimental estimates. The experimental state estimates do not include the same detailed level of industry information or data items due to confidentiality restrictions and relative sampling error issues.

This publication contains information for a subset of industries referred to as ‘Selected industries’. The 'Selected industries' are made up of 'Selected goods producing industries' and 'Selected service industries’.

‘Selected goods producing industries’ comprise: Mining; Manufacturing; and Electricity, gas and water supply.
'Selected service industries' comprise: Construction; Wholesale trade; Retail trade; Accommodation, cafes and restaurants; Transport and storage; Communication services; Property and business services; Cultural and recreational services, Services to finance, Health, and Personal services.

The remaining industries, which are excluded from the estimates in this publication, are:
  • Other service industries - comprised of: Education, Community service and religious organisations, Interest groups (trade unions, industry associations etc.) and Public order and safety services. Analysis of the Other service industries has shown that there is very little gain from using ATO business income tax data to substitute/supplement the data from the directly collected survey, because these types of organisations generally have minimal taxation obligations
  • From the Finance and insurance industry, only Services to finance and Insurance (subdivision 75) has been included. Because of the complex business structures in this industry, other areas of this division require further investigation by the ABS before being included
  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing has been excluded, but it is intended to reintroduce estimates for this industry in 2002-03.

The ABS is committed to a program of continual improvement in the statistics it produces. It strives to increase the range and quality of data it provides to users while at the same time reducing the reporting burden placed on businesses. In recent years this has been achieved with the help of data from the ATO.

The ABS and ATO have been working closely together for many years in an effort to improve the quality of Australia's economic statistics. While the legislation under which the ABS operates (the Census and Statistics Act 1905) does not allow it to provide the ATO with data reported by individual businesses, the Income Tax Assessment Act 1986 enables the ATO to provide the ABS with such data. These data are used for statistical purposes only.


Some tables in this publication are presented as experimental estimates. These tables show business characteristics at a detailed industry level for Australia and business characteristics at industry division by state and territory. The estimates are based on a relatively small ABS sample survey of businesses combined with business income tax data provided to the ATO and are subject to both sample and non-sample error.

Chapter three, Experimental estimates, contains three experimental national tables. These are tables 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3 which are presented to illustrate the level of detail available and to give readers an indication of data available on request. They are considered experimental and should be used with caution. The ANZSIC groups detailed in tables 3.2 and 3.3 were selected as these industries were considered to have sufficient data quality at the level of detail presented. More details regarding quality can be found in the Explanatory and Technical Notes. Relative standard errors are included to give a measure of sampling error associated with the estimates.

Chapter three, Experimental estimates, also contains two experimental state and territory tables. It is intended to remove this experimental tag in the future once further investigations have been carried out on the methodology used to produce the state estimates. In compiling the state estimates, for the majority of multi-state businesses, state dissections for items were available either from existing ABS business collections or from the ATO and the data were used to dissect the variables included in this publication by state. The majority of businesses (approximately two-thirds by value) operate in a single state. Sales data obtained for multi-state businesses were used to dissect Total operating income, Total operating expenses and Operating profit before tax (OPBT) at the state level. Wages data was used to dissect Labour costs. More details of the methodology and assumptions used to identify and allocate state dissections in this publication are outlined in Technical Note 1: Methodology.


All tables within Chapter three, are considered experimental and should be used with caution.

Some of the assumptions that have been relied upon in the production of these estimates cannot be directly tested easily. Users are advised to review the assumptions and methodology for themselves before deciding on fitness for purpose. Details regarding the quality of the estimates and assumptions can be found in the Explanatory Notes and Technical Note 2.

Differences between data presented in this publication and other ABS publications may be due to differences in scope, reference period, statistical units and the definition of data items. More details on these differences and comparisons can be found in Technical Note 2, Limitations of financial data analysis.

In the future, it is expected that the methodology used to produce these experimental estimates will be improved to a point where the ABS will remove the ‘experimental’ tag.


Part of the validation process adopted by the ABS in preparing economic statistics involves the comparison of results across similar statistical series that are available. When comparing the 1999-2000 and 2000-01 EASTAX results with results from collections such as the Monthly Retail Trade survey and the Quarterly Business Indicator Survey (QBIS) we find that the growth as measured in the EASTAX survey for the Retail Trade industry over this period was significantly stronger than levels indicated by the other collections. Taking into account other factors influencing economic activity in the retail industry over this period, the ABS holds some concern for the level of growth shown in the EASTAX estimates for some components of the division. Users are advised that care should be taken in conducting analysis on the Retail Trade industry using these data.

Stronger than expected growth is also evident in EASTAX wages and salaries estimates over the period 1999-2000 to 2000-01. Other sources such as QBIS and the Survey of Employment and Earnings are showing overall growth in wages and salaries of about 6%, while EASTAX shows growth of 11% over the same period. Again, users are advised that care should be exercised in conducting any detailed analysis using wages and salaries data from this release.

The ABS is continuing to investigate a number of factors which may be contributing to the apparent differences in the data, including changed reporting to the ATO resulting from the introduction of the New Tax System. As a result, some revisions are likely to be reflected in 2000-01 estimates to be released in the next edition of this publication.


The ABS is undertaking different streams of development work in order to improve the quality and range of information available. Changes in the external environment provide additional opportunities to improve the national statistical service. For example, changes under The New Tax System (TNTS) have potential to offer the ABS more opportunities, however it may still be some time before the benefits of these opportunities are realised.

The coverage of EASTAX estimates is to be expanded to eventually provide a complete picture across the whole economy. In addition, the ABS will continue to refine the methods outlined in this publication to expand the range, detail and quality of information provided at the national and state level.



Selected goods producing industries

In 2000-01, the total operating income of the Selected goods producing industries was $357,901m an increase of $27,675m (8%) over the 1999-2000 levels. The most significant component of operating income was sales of goods which was $320,969m, up $26,420m (9%). Total operating expenditure, increased $20,353m to $320,844m driven mainly by increased purchases expenditure up $14,382m to $163,503m. As a result of these changes the OPBT of the Selected goods producing industries increased $7,322m (25%) to $37,057m, over the twelve month period.

The Mining industry was the main driver of the increase in OPBT for the Selected goods producing industries. Total operating income increased $13,902m (31%) to $58,804m, of which the Oil and gas extraction subdivision contributed an increase of $8,966m (81%). Operating expenditure also increased, but to a lesser extent, up $5,824m (16%). As a result, OPBT for the Mining industry nearly doubled in value from 1999-2000 levels to $16,175m.

Offsetting this increase were declining profits in the Manufacturing and the Electricity, gas and water supply industries. OPBT in the Manufacturing industry decreased $683m (4%). Operating income increased $12,373m (5%) to $261,464m, driven by increased income in the Petroleum, coal, chemical and associated product manufacturing subdivision, up $7,294m (18%). These increases were offset by an increase in operating expenditure of $13,057m (6%), which led to the decline in profits. The Electricity, gas and water supply industry recorded a decrease over the same period of $74m (2%).

Selected service industries

In 2000-01, the operating income of the Selected service industries was $979,592m, an increase of $75,905m (8%) over that recorded in 1999-2000. Sales of goods contributed most to the increase, up $37,244m (7%) to $550,369m, while income from services increased $33,215m (10%) to $365,126m. Total operating expenditure increased $80,091m (10% ) to $919,520m driven mainly by increased purchases expenditure up $29,477m (7%) to $443,785m. As a result of these changes the OPBT of the Selected service industries decreased $4,186m (7%) to $60,072m, over the twelve month period.

The Service industries that had the largest increases in operating income and operating expenditure were the Retail trade, Wholesale trade and Property and business services industries.

In 2000-01, operating income in the Retail trade industry increased $21,679m (10%) to $229,726m over 1999-2000 levels. This increase was mainly driven by an increase in operating income of the Motor vehicle retailing and services subdivision up $8,881m (14%) and the Food retailing subdivision up $7,890m (12%). However, the OPBT in the Retail trade industry fell $2,477m (31%), mainly due to a fall in OPBT of $2,797m (57%) in the Personal and household good retailing subdivision.

Operating income in the Wholesale trade industry increased $19,940m (8%) to $256,376m in 2000-01. Increases in operating income were recorded for each subdivision within the Wholesale trade industry, with the largest percentage increase recorded in the Basic material wholesaling subdivision up $6,710m (10%). Despite the increases in operating income, the industry overall experienced a decline in OPBT in 2000-01, with the Machinery and motor vehicle wholesaling subdivision recording the largest decline of $629m (23%).

In 2000-01, operating income in the Property and business services industry increased $17,373m (13%) over the 1999-2000 levels. The Business services subdivision recorded the strongest growth with operating income increasing $14,258m (13%).

The Construction industry was the only Selected service industry to record a fall in operating income in 2000-01 with a decrease of $5,809m (6%). This decrease was mainly driven by a fall in the General construction subdivision of $5,331m (9%). Operating expenditure for the Construction industry also fell in 2000-01, down $3,376m (4%).

Non-employing businesses

For the industries covered in this publication, non-employing businesses account for 5% of total operating income, however, this contribution differed between industries. Industries in which the contribution of non-employing businesses is above 10% of operating income are Personal services, Services to finance, Construction, Health services and Property and business services.

In terms of growth in total operating income between 1999-2000 and 2000-01, employing businesses recorded an increase of $101,263m (9%), while non-employing businesses increased $2,317m (4%).

Non-employing businesses have a relatively high contribution to OPBT (17%). However, it should be noted that much of this profit is attributable to the OPBT of sole proprietors and partnerships, which comprise 78% of non-employing businesses. The drawings and/or labour costs of these persons are not reflected in total operating business expenses, but are recorded as drawings from profits, and as such are not reflected in the EASTAX estimates.



This Chapter presents a selection of experimental estimates using detailed results from the collection. Table 3.1 provides statistics at the ANZSIC Class level for economic indicators. Tables 3.2 and 3.3 provide a more complete range of financial data for a small group of selected industry classes. Tables 3.4 and 3.5 provide a state and territory dissection of key economic indicators by employing status and industry. The final three tables of the Chapter, tables 3.6, 3.7 and 3.8, provide an indication of the sampling error associated with the estimates. Note that the estimates are also subject to non-sampling error, which is discussed in Technical Note 2.

The data presented in this Chapter are presented as experimental estimates, because they provide detailed industry level data and state and territory data based on a relatively new methodology (see Technical Note 1: Methodology for more details). Because of the experimental nature of these estimates, caution should be exercised with any analysis.


In 2000-01, businesses in the two largest states (New South Wales and Victoria) accounted for 55% of the Total operating income of businesses in the Selected goods producing industries and 65% of Total operating income of businesses in the Selected service industries. Businesses in those two states also accounted for 57% and 65% of the Total operating expenses, 40% and 65% of Operating profit before tax (OPBT) and 61% and 67% of the Labour costs of businesses in the Selected goods producing and the Selected service industries respectively.

Employing businesses in New South Wales accounted for 27% of the Total operating income of employing businesses in the Selected goods producing industries and 38% of the Total operating income of employing businesses in the Selected service industries. The proportions for the other states were; Victoria 28% and 27%, Queensland 18% and 16%, South Australia 8% and 6%, Western Australia 15% and 9%, Tasmania 2% and 2%, Northern Territory 1% and 1% and Australian Capital Territory 0% and 1%.

Over the 12 month period 1999-2000 to 2000-01, growth rates in total income varied between the Selected goods producing industries and the Selected service industries.

For Total Selected goods producing industries, the Northern Territory recorded the strongest growth (26%). Western Australia also recorded strong growth (21%) for the Goods producing industries, but by contrast, recorded the lowest growth rate (2%) for the Selected service industries.

Similarly, South Australia recorded the strongest growth for the Selected service industries (13%), but recorded the lowest growth rate for the Goods producing industries (1%).