Policy on Pre-Release Access to ABS Statistics

To provide equality of access, the ABS releases its content to all users at the same time via our website. In general, this occurs at 11.30 am (Canberra time) on the day of release. Before this all ABS statistics are confidential and are under embargo.

Embargoed access to ABS content may be granted to selected stakeholders where either:

  • The interpretation of content is complex
  • On the day of release an Australian government minister, official or agency is likely to provide public comment on the release.

For selected government agencies, a secure "lockup" facility is provided for pre-release access to both market sensitive and estimated resident population statistics and publications. This enables authorised government officials and ministerial staff time to analyse the release and develop briefings for relevant ministers. The ABS does not provide pre-release access to seek comments on these finalised statistics and publications.

Authorised persons attending a lockup:

  • Will remain in a secure room managed by ABS staff.
  • Are prohibited from communicating to anyone outside the room until the embargo is lifted.
  • Sign a security undertaking with penalties for breaching the conditions of the lockup.

ABS-hosted lockups are approved for the following content:

  • Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia (quarterly)
  • Labour Force, Australia - (monthly) with Average Weekly Earnings (half yearly)
  • Consumer Price Index, Australia (quarterly)
  • Monthly Consumer Price Index Indicator (monthly)
  • Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product (quarterly)
  • Australian National Accounts: State Accounts (annual)
  • Private New Capital Expenditure and Expected Expenditure, Australia (quarterly)
  • Retail Trade, Australia (monthly)
  • Wage Price Index, Australia (quarterly)
  • Monthly Business Turnover Indicator (monthly)
  • Construction Work Done, Australia, Preliminary (quarterly)
  • Selected Living Costs Indexes, Australia (quarterly)

Approved Commonwealth Treasury officials are also granted access to Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product the day before its release.

In exceptional circumstances, approval may be given for additional ad hoc lockups for other key statistical releases. 

In addition to secure lockups, the ABS Indicator Application Programming Interface (API) provides key economic data as soon as embargo is lifted at 11.30 am (Canberra time). For more information on this service and to request access, visit ABS Indicator API.

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