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

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8 February, 2011
Embargo: 11.30 am (CANBERRA TIME)
Impact of floods on ABS data: an update

As noted in an ABS media release of 21 January, 2011, Impact of floods on ABS data, the ABS suspended most January data collection activities in places declared official disaster areas. Data supplied to the ABS from government agencies was also disrupted by the floods. Additional damage to areas in north Queensland has since occurred due to Cyclone Yasi. However, the ABS is now working towards the resumption of data collection activities in each of the disaster areas.

As a result of the suspension of data collection activity, there were some minor disruptions to ABS collections with a reference period of December or December quarter 2010. These disruptions are being managed by the ABS with minimal problems. It is expected that:
  • data releases will have the same scope and similar quality normally associated with each collection;
  • there will be no delay to publication timetables; and
  • extra commentary will be included in publications to highlight where there has been an impact due to lower levels of provider response.

It is expected that many January or March quarter 2011 ABS collections will be affected by the disruption to data collection activities, as well as the real-world impacts arising from the economic and social effects of the floods. The impact on ABS collections will also be exacerbated by Cyclone Yasi.

The ABS is investigating the complex methodological and processing issues pertaining to each ABS collection. Resolving these issues could impact on data release dates. A small number of publications are likely to be delayed by up to two weeks, although the ABS aims to release all main economic indicator publications within one week of their normal release date. Each ABS publication affected by the floods will include extra commentary describing the impact of the flood/cyclone on the published data.

If a delay to the release timetable is required, the publication name and amended release date will be published on the ABS website as it becomes available. This will happen progressively through to May 2011, as investigations for the March quarter 2011 collections are finalised.

If you have any queries about this media release, please contact 1300 175 070.