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.
The New Capital Expenditure survey contains estimates of actual and expected new capital expenditure by private businesses for selected industries in Australia. The series have been compiled from data collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in its quarterly Survey of New Capital Expenditure.
Businesses are requested to provide three basic figures each survey: actual expenditure incurred during the reference period (Act); a short term expectation (E1); and a longer term expectation (E2). They provide a split of their capital expenditure by asset type (i.e. equipment plant & machinery and buildings & structures).
The survey excludes the following industries: Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing; Public Administration and Safety; Superannuation Funds.
The scope excludes public sector businesses (i.e. all departments, authorities and other organisations owned and controlled by Commonwealth, State and Local Government).
The statistics in this publication exclude micro non-employing businesses. Though there are a substantial number of these businesses, it is expected that they would not contribute significantly to the estimates, although the impact would vary from industry to industry.
The industries from which the data items are collected have been classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (cat. no. 1292.0).
The Survey of New Capital Expenditure is 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. June quarter survey returns are completed mostly during July and August).
The ABS is focused on, and committed to, accuracy in all the data it releases however like most collections conducted by the ABS the Survey of New Capital Expenditure is subject to both Sampling and Non-sampling errors.
The estimates presented in the New Capital Expenditure publication are based on a random sample of approximately 9,000 units which is stratified by industry, state/territory and derived employment size. Because the entire population is not surveyed, the published estimates are subject to sampling error. The most common way of quantifying sampling error is to calculate the standard error for the published estimate. Tables of level standard errors and movement standard errors are provided in the Appendix of this publication.
Annotations are used to identify all published estimates that have an estimated relative standard error (RSE) of greater than 10%. Details on the recommended usage of estimates with a high RSE are provided in paragraph 31 of the Explanatory Notes. These annotations have only been applied to estimates from the March quarter 2009.
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. 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.
Revisions to previous quarter's data can take place from time to time. This includes replacement of previously imputed data, which is a normal occurrence. Revisions can arise due to a change in the reference year for chain volume estimates, resulting in changes to levels but not growth rates for all periods. A change in the base year can also result in revisions, small in most cases, to growth rates for the last year.
Most data are directly comparable over different collection cycles. Estimates for New Capital Expenditure (in volume terms) are available from September quarter 1987.
The change of the Telstra Corporation from the public sector to the private sector in November 2006 impacted on the estimates from March quarter 2007. Caution should be taken when comparing data across this period. For more information please see Information Paper: Future Treatment of Telstra in ABS Statistics, 2007 (cat. no. 8102.0).
The data presented in the New Capital Expenditure publication are also broadly comparable with other statistics produced by the ABS. In particular the equipment, plant and machinery data collected in the New Capital Expenditure Survey are used in the compilation of the quarterly estimates for private gross fixed capital formation on machinery and equipment of the Australian National Accounts.
However there are some differences between the statistics in this publication and corresponding statistics in the quarterly Australian National Accounts. These differences are outlined in paragraph 46 of the Explanatory Notes.
The estimates of capital expenditure on buildings and other structures will differ with estimates of Construction activity published in Construction Work Done, Australia, Preliminary (cat. no. 5216.0). The latter publication presents estimates of building and engineering construction work collected by the Building Activity Survey and the Engineering Construction Survey. The reasons for these differences are outlined in paragraph 48 of the Explanatory Notes.
The major series estimates for this collection are available in original, seasonally adjusted and trend series. To find out more information on seasonal adjustment and trend estimator please see Time Series Analysis Frequently Asked Questions.
Chain volume measures are compiled for most series which provides comparability over time in real terms.
Realisation ratios provide an important tool in understanding and interpreting expectation statistics for future periods. Details on the derivation and usefulness of realisation ratios are provided in paragraphs 27 to 30 of the Explanatory Notes. For a more expansive exploration on the application of realisation ratios, please refer to the feature article in the September 2009 issue.
New Capital Expenditure (cat. no. 5625.0) is available from the ABS website as an electronic version of the Summary data and Explanatory Notes. More detailed files for time series data are downloadable as Excel data files.