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This publication has been discontinued and is replaced by 5676.0 - Business Indicators, Australia. Further information can be obtained in the note outlining changes.
SEPTEMBER QTR KEY POINTS
As foreshadowed in the information paper, Improvements to Australian Bureau of Statistics Quarterly Business Indicators (Cat. no. 5677.0), this is the final issue of Company Profits, Australia.
This publication will be replaced by a new publication titled Business Indicators, Australia, (ABS Cat. no. 5676.0). The first release of 5676.0 will be in respect of the September quarter 2001 and will be released on 30 January 2002. The first release of the new publication will be sent to subscribers of this publication.
The new publication will include two profits measures - company profits before income tax, and company gross operating profits (replacing the experimental company profits before income tax, net interest paid, depreciation and selected items series); however the coverage of these measures will be expanded to include private incorporated businesses employing 20 or more persons. Both series will be published by industry in original, seasonally adjusted and trend terms, with other profits series available upon request. The ABS is not intending to maintain the profits series for incorporated businesses employing more than 30 persons; if clients are interested in continuing to access these series, please telephone the contact officer for this publication.
In addition to measures of profit, Business Indicators, Australia will also include series relating to income from the sale of goods and services, inventories, and from the December quarter 2001 issue, wages and salaries.
Business Indicators, Australia (Cat no. 5676.0)
CHANGES IN THIS ISSUE
This issue incorporates revised seasonal factors following an annual reanalysis.
Revisions have been made to the June quarter 2001 estimates and earlier quarters as a result of responses received or revised after publication of the previous issue. Seasonally adjusted and trend estimates are also revised as a result of the concurrent seasonal adjustment method which takes account of the latest original data, and the annual review discussed above. The net effect of these revisions has been to decrease the original estimate of company profits before income tax for the June quarter 2001 by 2.9%, and decrease the seasonally adjusted estimate of company profits before income tax by 4.1%. Revisions are applied to all series in this publication and the impact can vary at the industry level.
For further information about these and related statistics, contact Mark Wise on Sydney 02 9268 4241 , or the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.
COMPANY PROFITS BEFORE INCOME TAX BY INDUSTRY: Trend
The trend estimate was relatively flat for the September quarter 2001 after increasing in each quarter since December quarter 1998.
The trend estimate for Manufacturing increased in the September quarter 2001 after having fallen for the previous five quarters.
The trend estimate for Wholesale trade has recorded large decreases in the last three quarters. The trend estimate for Retail trade has increased in the current quarter after having fallen in every quarter since March quarter 1999.
OTHER SELECTED INDUSTRIES(a)
The trend estimate for Other selected industries has increased in the past two quarters. The current quarter's increase has been driven by increases in Services to finance and insurance, Property and business services and Other services.
TOTAL ALL INDUSTRIES
The trend estimate for All industries has fallen in the past five quarters from a peak in the June quarter 2000.
(a) This includes Construction, Transport & storage, Services to finance & insurance, Property & business services, and Other services.
1 This publication contains estimates of company profits before income tax, and depreciation, net interest paid and other items for selected industries in Australia. The series have been compiled from data collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in its Quarterly Economic Activity Survey. Prior to June quarter 2001, the data were collected in the Survey of Company Profits. For more information on the introduction of the Quarterly Economic Activity Survey see the Information Paper: Improvements to Australian Bureau of Statistics Quarterly Business Indicators (Cat. no. 5677.0).
SCOPE AND COVERAGE
2 The data in this publication relate to private incorporated businesses employing more than 30 people.
3 The industries, classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) 1993, included in this publication are:
4 The Quarterly Economic Activity Survey, like most ABS economic collections, takes its frame from the ABS Business Register which is primarily based on registrations to the Australian Taxation Office’s Pay As You Go Withholding (PAYGW) scheme (and prior to 1 July 2000 its Group Employer scheme). The frame is updated quarterly to take account of new businesses, businesses which have ceased employing, changes in employment levels, changes in industry and other general business changes.
5 Businesses which have ceased employing are identified when the Australian Taxation Office cancels their PAYGW registration (or previously their GE registration). In addition, from September quarter 1999, businesses which did not remit under the GE scheme for the previous five quarters were removed from the frame. A similiar process will be adopted to remove businesses who do not remit under the PAYGW scheme.
CHANGES TO ABS BUSINESS REGISTER
6 The introduction of The New Tax System has a number of significant implications for ABS business statistics, and these are discussed in the Information Paper: ABS Statistics And The New Tax System (Cat. no. 1358.0). The replacement of the GE registration process by PAYGW registration resulted in a number of changes to most business survey frames. However, an adjustment has been made to the Company Profits series so that these changes will not affect broader level estimates of level and movement.
7 From the September quarter 2002, the ABS will make further changes including adopting a new units model and expanding its Register to include all units on the Australian Business Register, including non-employers. Further information on the impact of these changes will be provided before they are implemented.
8 The survey is conducted by mail on a quarterly basis. It is based on a random sample of approximately 16,000 units which is stratified by industry, state/territory and number of employees. All incorporated, private sector business units with over 250 employees and/or a known large profit/loss are included in the sample.
9 Respondents are asked to provide data on the same basis as their own management accounts. Where a particular business unit does not respond in a given survey period, an estimate is substituted. Revisions may be made to these estimates if data are provided subsequently from those businesses. Aggregates are calculated from all data using the number raised estimation technique. Data are edited both at individual business unit level and at aggregate level.
TIMING OF SURVEY CYCLE
10 Surveys are conducted in respect of each quarter and returns are completed during the 8 or 9 week period after the end of the quarter to which survey data relate (e.g. March quarter survey returns are completed during April and May).
11 The survey frames and samples are revised each quarter to ensure that they remain representative of the survey population. The timing for creating each quarter's survey frame is consistent with that of other ABS surveys. This provides for greater consistency when comparing data across surveys.
12 Additionally, with these revisions to the sample, some of the units from the sampled sector are rotated out of the survey and are replaced by others, to spread the reporting workload equitably.
13 There are lags in the processing of new businesses to the ABS Business Register. For the estimates of company profits, which excludes businesses employing 30 or less people from published estimates, the effect of this is relatively minor as the majority of new businesses tend to be small in size and outside the scope of this survey. The incidence of new, larger businesses commencing operation is less common. Therefore, no specific adjustment for new businesses is made as the quarterly revisions to the survey frame and sample are considered sufficient to account for new businesses.
14 The survey uses the management unit as the statistical unit. The management unit is the highest-level accounting unit within a business, having regard to industry homogeneity, for which accounts are maintained. In nearly all cases it coincides with the legal entity owning the business (i.e. company, etc). In the case of large diversified businesses, however, there may be more than one management unit, each coinciding with a ‘division’ or ‘line of business’. A division or line of business is recognised where separate and comprehensive accounts are compiled for it.
CLASSIFICATION BY INDUSTRY
15 The Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) has been developed for use in both countries for the production and analysis of industry statistics. For more information, users are referred to Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 1993 (Cat. no. 1292.0).
16 In order to classify company profits by industry, each statistical unit (as defined above) is classified to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) industry in which it mainly operates.
RELIABILITY OF THE ESTIMATES
17 Estimates provided in this publication are subject to non-sampling and sampling errors. The most common way of quantifying sampling error is to calculate the standard error for the published estimate. In calculating the standard error, the common practice for the statistics in this publication has been to examine the most recent two years of the quarterly series, and to produce a smoothed standard error for that period for the major published aggregates. This approach takes account of the variability in standard error estimates for quarterly statistics. This estimated standard error is then used as an indication of the sampling error for the current published series. The data in the current publication has been sourced from the new Quarterly Economic Activity Survey, which has been conducted since March quarter 2001, and this does not allow for a smoothed estimate of the standard error to be calculated. Therefore standard errors are based upon the data in the currently published quarter. Details of sampli
ng errors are on pages 16 and 17 of this publication.
18 Non-sampling errors may arise as a result of errors in the reporting, recording or processing of the data and can occur even if there is a complete enumeration of the population. These errors can be introduced through inadequacies in the questionnaire, treatment of non-response, inaccurate reporting by respondents, errors in the application of survey procedures, incorrect recording of answers, and errors in data entry and processing.
19 It is difficult to measure the size of non-sampling errors. However, every effort is made in the design of the survey and development of survey procedures to minimise their effects.
20 The quarterly series in this publication are affected to some extent by seasonal influences and it is useful to recognise and take account of this element of variation.
21 Seasonal adjustment is a means of removing the estimated effects of normal seasonal variation from the series so that the effects of other influences can be more clearly recognised.
22 In the seasonal adjustment of the series, account has been taken of normal seasonal factors and, in some cases, also ‘trading’ day effects (arising from the varying lengths of the quarters and the varying numbers of Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays etc. in each quarter). Seasonal adjustment does not remove from the series the effect of irregular or non-seasonal influences (e.g. change in interest rates). The seasonally adjusted figures also reflect the sampling and other errors to which the original figures are subject. Particular care should be taken in interpreting quarterly movements in the adjusted figures in this publication, especially for detailed industry estimates.
23 Seasonal factors are revised concurrently to take account of the latest original data. A more detailed review is conducted annually prior to the September quarter release. The nature of the seasonal adjustment process is such that the magnitude of some revisions resulting from each adjustment may be quite significant, especially for data for more recent quarters.
24 The trend estimates are derived by applying a 7-term Henderson moving average to the seasonally adjusted series. The 7-term Henderson average (like all Henderson averages) is symmetric but, as the end of a time series is approached, asymmetric forms of the average are applied. Unlike the weights of the standard 7-term Henderson moving average, the weights employed here have been tailored to suit the particular characteristics of individual series. While the asymmetric weights enable trend estimates for recent quarters to be produced, it does result in revisions to the estimates for the most recent three quarters as additional observations become available. There may also be revisions because of changes in the original data and as a result of the re-estimation of the seasonal factors. For further information, see Information Paper: A Guide to Interpreting Time Series-Monitoring ‘Trends’: an Overview (Cat. no. 1348.0) or contact the Assistant Director, Time Series Analysis on Canberra 02 6252 6345.
DESCRIPTION OF TERMS
25 A description of the terms used in this publication is given below:
An incorporated private sector business enterprise. For the purpose of the survey, branches of overseas companies operating in Australia are included but overseas branches of Australian companies are excluded.
Company profits before income tax
Net operating profit or loss before income tax and extraordinary items and is net of capital profits or losses arising from the sale of businesses' own capital goods and dividends received.
Net interest paid
Interest expense less any interest income. Interest received from or paid to overseas sources is included. The interest component of finance lease payments is also included.
Depreciation and amortisation
This is as per management accounts and includes depreciation on equipment acquired under a finance lease.
Abnormal items are items of revenue or expense included in the profit and loss or other operating statement which although attributable to the reporting period are considered abnormal by reason of their size and effect on the results for the period (e.g. bad debts, inventory write-downs, write-offs of research and development expenditure, depreciation adjustments upon reassessment of the estimated useful lives of non-current assets, differences between carrying amounts and proceeds from the sale of investments or properties whether or not acquired for resale, and differences arising on movements in foreign currency exchange rates).
Foreign exchange gains (or losses)
Net foreign exchange gains or losses as included in management accounts. Includes unrealised foreign exchange gains or losses where these are included in net operating profit for the reporting period.
Unrealised gains (or losses) from the revaluation of assets
Net unrealised gains or losses arising from the revaluation of current or non-current assets as included in management accounts. Includes diminution in the value of investments, inventory write-off, stock revaluation adjustment, revaluation of fixed assets, write-off of future surplus, write off of investments and write back of doubtful debts, where these have been included in net operating profit for the reporting period. Revaluation increases which are credited only to a reserve account are not included.
A list of all members of the target population for a survey. The frame for this survey is a list of all businesses in the ANZSIC divisions, subdivisions and groups listed in paragraph 3. This is extracted from the ABS Business Register, which is a list of all employing Australian businesses, as described in paragraph 4.
COMPARISON WITH OTHER ABS STATISTICS
26 From the September quarter 2000, experimental estimates for the series “Company Profits before income tax, net interest paid, depreciation and selected items” have been made available, in addition to the existing published series “Company Profits before income tax, net interest paid, depreciation”. The new experimental series is intended to align more closely with the series “Gross Operating Surplus of Private Non-financial Corporations” in the national accounts. However, the two series are not directly comparable for the following reasons:
REVISIONS TO TREND ESTIMATES
27 The most recent trend estimates are likely to be revised when seasonally adjusted estimates for subsequent quarters become available. The graph below presents the effect of two possible scenarios on the previous trend estimates:
1 The December 2001 seasonally adjusted estimate for company profits before income tax is higher than the September 2001 seasonally adjusted estimate by 10.0%.
2 The December 2001 seasonally adjusted estimate for company profits before income tax is lower than the September 2001 seasonally adjusted estimate by 10.0%.
The percentage change of 10.0% was chosen because the average absolute percentage change, based on the last decade, has been 10.0%.
28 An increase of 10% in seasonally adjusted company profits before income tax in December 2001 quarter would show a 2.1% increase in the trend estimate for September 2001 quarter. A fall of 10% would result in a 2.5% decrease in the trend estimate for September 2001 quarter.
29 Users may also wish to refer to the following publications: Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product (Cat. no. 5206.0)
30 Current publications produced by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products, Australia (Cat. no. 1101.0). The ABS also issues, on Tuesdays and Fridays, a Release Advice (Cat. no. 1105.0) which lists publications to be released in the next few days. The Catalogue and the Release Advice are available from any ABS office.
ABS DATA AVAILABLE ON REQUEST
31 As well as the statistics included in this and related publications, the ABS may have other relevant data available on request. Inquiries should be made to the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.
SYMBOLS AND OTHER USAGES
n.p. not available for publication
The estimates in this publication are based on a sample drawn from units in the surveyed population. Because the entire population is not surveyed, the published estimates are subject to sampling error. The most common way of quantifying such sampling error is to calculate the standard error for the published estimate or statistic.
To illustrate, let us say that the published level estimate for company profits before income tax is $8,900m and the calculated standard error in this case is $140m. The standard error is then used to interpret the level estimate of $8,900m.
For instance, the standard error of $140m indicates that:
There are approximately two chances in three that the real value falls within the range $8,760m to $9,040m ($8,900m ± $140m).
There are approximately nineteen chances in twenty that the real value falls within the ranges $8,620m and $9,180m ($8,900m ± $280m).
The real value in this case is the result we would obtain if we could enumerate the total population.
The following table shows the standard errors for national quarterly level estimates based upon the data in the current quarter.
The following example illustrates how to use the standard error to interpret a movement estimate. Let us say that one quarter the published level estimate for company profits before income tax is $8,900m, and the next quarter the published level estimate is $9,300m. In this example the calculated standard error for the movement estimate is $145m. The standard error is then used to interpret the published movement estimate of +$400m.
For instance, the standard error of $145m indicates that:
The following table shows the standard errors for national quarterly level estimates based upon the data in the current quarter.
COMPANY PROFITS BEFORE INCOME TAX, NET INTEREST PAID DEPRECIATION AND SELECTED ITEMS – EXPERIMENTAL ESTIMATES
Results from the Quarterly Economic Activity Survey are currently used to produce a number of measures of profit including ‘Company profits before income tax, net interest paid and depreciation’. This measure equates very broadly with the national accounts series ‘Gross Operating Surplus of Private Non-financial Corporations’. Recent changes to data collection and processing have enabled the ABS to produce an additional series that provides a measure of underlying company profits which aligns more closely with the national accounts series.
COMPARISON WITH GROSS OPERATING SURPLUS
This new series, called ‘Company Profits before income tax, net interest paid, depreciation and selected items’, is calculated by deducting estimates for some additional items from the series ‘Company profits before income tax, net interest paid and depreciation’. The items involved result from activities that do not involve the production of goods and services such as net foreign exchange gains/losses, unrealised gains/losses on the revaluation of assets and some other items often defined in accounting terms as abnormal items. The item ‘Company profits before income tax, net interest paid and depreciation’ is already net of profits/losses arising from the sale of businesses' own capital goods and excludes dividends received.
COMPARISON WITH OTHER ABS STATISTICS
While the series ‘Company Profits before income tax, net interest paid, depreciation and selected items’ is intended to align more closely with the series ‘Gross Operating Surplus of Private Non-financial Corporations’ in the national accounts, the two series are not directly comparable. See paragraph 26 of the Explanatory Notes on page 14 for further details.
DESCRIPTION OF TERMS
See paragraph 25 of the Explanatory Notes on pages 13 and 14 for a description of foreign exchange gains/losses, unrealised gains/losses and abnormal items.
The changes to data collection and processing required to produce this new series were implemented from June quarter 1999. Industry level data are only available from this period onwards and at this stage will only be published for Mining, Manufacturing and for all other industries combined. To enable seasonally adjusted estimates to be produced at the total industries level, estimates for periods prior to June quarter 1999 were derived from information used in the compilation of the national accounts. This has enabled the publication of just over five years of data at the total industries level in original and seasonally adjusted terms.
Users should treat the following estimates with caution. The output should be considered as experimental at this stage and the ABS welcomes feedback from readers regarding the usefulness, range and quality of the data presented and explanations provided.
Please send any comments to Director, Quarterly Economy Wide Surveys Branch, GPO Box 796, Sydney NSW 2001 or by telephone to Eric Morris on Sydney 02 9268 4176.
A1 - COMPANY PROFITS BEFORE INCOME TAX, NET INTEREST PAID, DEPRECIATION AND SELECTED ITEMS
A2 - COMPANY PROFITS BEFORE INCOME TAX, NET INTEREST PAID, DEPRECIATION AND SELECTED ITEMS
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