5204.0.55.010 - Information paper: Introduction of Mining Natural Resources into Australia’s Productivity Measures, 2012-13  
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BACKGROUND

The ABS has been developing measures of the value of Australia’s mineral and energy resources for a number of years. Estimates began in 1988–89 and are published annually in the ASNA. Mineral and energy resources are the fourth largest non–financial asset on the national balance sheet contributing approximately 10% to total non–financial assets in 2012–13. The current price value of the stock of mineral and energy resources has tripled since 2005–06. This increase in value is predominantly driven by price with volume estimates of mineral and energy resources only increasing 10.8% over the same period.

For current mining industry productivity statistics, mineral and energy resources are not included as inputs in the production process. This omission has drawn attention amongst analysts. Several recent Australian studies indicate that mineral and energy resources have a significant influence on mining industry productivity growth. For example, Loughton (ABS, 2011), Zheng (2009), and Topp et al (2008) show that the decline in the measured mining MFP over the past decade could be significantly reduced when mineral and energy resources are included. Modelled mineral and energy resources input typically grows more slowly than other types of capital inputs, thus their inclusion reduces total input growth. Lower growth in inputs increases growth of the MFP residual. For the mining industry, this results in a reduction in the decline of measured MFP.

There was a methodological review to improve the quality of the mineral and energy resources data for the 2011–12 release of the ASNA. Assumptions regarding the normal return to produced capital were improved and mineral extraction cost data was updated to incorporate the latest available company reported financial information. These improvements have ensured that the model based results and other ABS mining industry statistics are now broadly consistent.