8.1 The service industry price index development work is taking place within the classification framework provided by the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC). The work to date has focused on a selection of industry classes in the Transport and Storage Division and the Property and Business Services Division of the ANZSIC. In selecting the industry classes for initial study, particular attention has been given to national accounts priorities.
8.2 Developing these new collections has involved a wide range of diverse industries and there have been particularly complex measurement problems. Customised approaches to price collection have had to be adopted on a case-by-case basis because of the tendency in many service industries to provide one-off, unique services tailored to each particular customer’s needs. Also, difficulties have been encountered in fully identifying and specifying all of the price influencing characteristics of the service actually provided.
8.3 This has necessitated extensive consultation with industry associations and individual businesses to determine the most viable approach. For these and other reasons, the development of the indexes has proven to be very resource intensive, involving a long elapsed time between commencement of the initial desk top research and the actual compilation of useable series.
8.4 The weighting patterns of the indexes are based on data from a variety of sources, primarily ABS surveys and industry data.
8.5 The indexes have reference base periods which vary according to when the first data became available. In some cases the price history goes back a number of years, while in other cases it was not possible to obtain retrospective data.