Quality declaration - summary
For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.
Supply-use tables are a part of the Australian national accounts. The standards governing national accounts are agreed internationally and detailed in the "System of National Accounts 2008" (SNA08). SNA08 is endorsed by the five major international economic organisations: the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the OECD, the World Bank and the European Commission. The complete version of SNA08 is available online, System of National Accounts, 2008.
The Australian national accounts differ from the recommendations in the SNA08 in some instances where the data is not available to meet these requirements, or it is not considered practical to adhere to the standards. For more information on the differences between the Australian national accounts and the SNA08, see Australian National Accounts: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 5216.0).
The annual supply-use tables are published eighteen months after the reference period because of the need to acquire an extensive range of data sources, which are of varying quality and frequency. These range from, for example, data on merchandise trade, to data on product supply or intermediate usage which may, depending on the product and industry, are based on annual or occasional ABS surveys or non-ABS sources.
Accuracy remains the main focus of ABS quality control. However, in the case of the supply-use tables, it is recognised internationally that an objective accuracy measure in the sense of proximity to the ‘true value’ is impossible to produce. The supply-use tables are a highly complex set of economic statistics. They combine a substantial number of internal and external data sources, differing quality and frequency, covering various aspects of the economy to compile the supply-use tables.
Given the variety of data used, and the transformations and aggregations used in the national accounts process, an assessment of accuracy is necessarily subjective and indirect. It involves an evaluation of the national accounts process, the input data and the transformations used to produce the national accounts. The ABS aims to achieve best practice in each of these facets of national accounts compilation. An analysis of revisions can objectively measure the concept of reliability, but a reliable series is not necessarily accurate if it is based on poor quality data.
The limitations surrounding the data sources, the age of data, the availability of detailed product level supply and use data mean that to a greater or lesser extent a significant part of the detailed supply-use data is extrapolated from previous information. These estimates are then confronted, reallocated and balanced against other cells within the supply-use table framework, with more credence being given to some data sources over others.
These processes result in individual components being modelled and adjusted, and this is particularly true for those with relatively small values. Users should, therefore, be cautious when considering isolated fragments of the tables, especially details at the product level and or when looking at the supply or use of products that may be related to an activity or industry but are being analysed outside the economic structure of the supply-use tables.
For a more in-depth discussion of the accuracy of the national accounts including an analysis of revisions, please see the Information Paper: Quality Dimensions of the Australian National Accounts (cat. no. 5216.0.55.002).
A major unifying feature within the Australian System of National Accounts is the application of the supply and use framework to confront the data and balance the components of GDP in annual terms. The supply-use tables show inter-industry flows of goods and services, and at the time of release, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) measure reported in the supply-use tables matched that which was published in the most recent Annual National Accounts publication, Australian System of National Accounts (cat. no. 5204.0) available at the time of compilation.
The ABS publishes a large amount of data on many aspects of the economy, both periodically and in the form of occasional surveys of particular industries or activities. Many of these, especially annual publications and occasional product surveys, are used in the supply-use tables. However, the data as presented in the supply-use tables may differ in detail from the source data due to the supply-use data confrontation and balancing processes, scope and coverage differences between individual publications and the national accounts and adjustments and additions due to economic activity not generally collected in industry surveys such as gross fixed capital formation and use of financial services.
Supply-use tables disaggregate and describe the gross domestic product account regarding the flows through the economy of the supply of goods and services from producers (domestic and non-resident) to their users and uses. They present a detailed analysis of the process of production, the use of goods and services of that production at basic, as well as producer prices, along with details on taxes, subsides and various types of margins.
For links to all national accounts related data and publications, recent national accounts changes and forthcoming events, relevant websites and a range of other information about the Australian National Accounts, please see the National Accounts Statistics homepage.
For more detailed information about the quality dimensions of the Australian National Accounts please see the Information Paper: Quality Dimensions of the Australian National Accounts, 2007 (cat. no. 5216.0.55.002).
The supply-use tables time series are available from the ABS.Stat website <http://stat.data.abs.gov.au/>. The supply-use tables in Excel spreadsheets can be downloaded from the 'Downloads' tab on this page.