8501.0 - Retail Trade, Australia, 2000  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/05/2000   
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  • ABS to release improved seasonally adjusted estimates for retail (Media Release)


May 31, 2000
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

ABS to Release Improved Seasonally Adjusted Estimates for Retail

A new improved methodology for deriving seasonally adjusted estimates will be introduced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in the April 2000 issue of Retail Trade Australia, due for release tomorrow.

The introduction is part of an ABS program of continuous improvement to statistical products.

The seasonal adjustment process removes systematic calendar related effects from statistical series. Examples of these effects include increased spending in December as a result of Christmas, the impact of summer and winter shopping patterns, months having a different number of days and particular months having a different number of busy shopping days. Removing these effects enables more meaningful comparisons of data over time.

While most ABS series use the forward factor methodology, the Retail Trade series will move to the concurrent adjustment methodology from the April reference month. The main difference between the two methods is that the concurrent adjustment methodology uses the most recent data available every month whereas the forward factor approach uses the most recent data available only once a year to produce forward estimates of the seasonal factors.

Research undertaken by the ABS demonstrated that concurrent seasonal adjustment will, in most cases, produce a more accurate initial seasonally adjusted estimate than the forward factor methodology for retail sales. An information paper, Introduction of Concurrent Seasonal Adjustment into the Retail Trade Series (Cat No 8514.0), which outlined the results of this research was released in December last year.

More accurate seasonally adjusted estimates will be beneficial to governments, economists and businesses trying to understand the retail industry. However, the concurrent adjustment methodology can result in revision to estimates for previous months.

The applicability of the concurrent adjustment methodology to other ABS series will be evaluated progressively.

Further details about concurrent adjustment and it's impact on the Retail Trade series, will be included in the April issue of Retail Trade, Australia (cat. no. 8501.0) which will be released on Thursday, 1 June. If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication please contact your nearest ABS bookshop.