Impact of floods on ABS data (Media Release), 2011

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21 January 2011
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)

Impact of floods on ABS data

Floods in Eastern Australia have affected many households and businesses, and impacted on thousands of people's lives. It will take time before communities will be able to return to what could be described as normal conditions. As a consequence of this, the ABS has suspended most data collection activities until 31 January in places declared official disaster areas.

After this time, the situation will be assessed twice weekly to determine whether normal data collection activities can resume in these areas. The suspension of activity means that there is likely to be a significant level of under-reporting in ABS surveys that are in the field during this time. The ABS also relies on data supplied by government agencies which have also been disrupted by the floods.

The ABS is assessing the impact of the floods on particular ABS data series, and wherever possible, will adapt statistical methods to take account of the additional loss of source data.

Extra commentary will be included in publications about: the real-world impact of the disaster reflected in statistics; the impact on the quality of the statistics; and any adjustments to standard methodology that occurred.

Some ABS publications may be delayed by up to two weeks - specific details will be advised on this website should delays occur. People wishing to inquire about the timing of releases, or the impact of the floods on ABS data, can also contact 1300 175 070.