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Frequently asked questions
Figure 1: Supply-use tables - framework for the economy
How do the supply-use tables relate to the Australian system of national accounts
Supply-use tables were introduced in the Australian national accounts in 1998 as an integral part of the annual compilation of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). They are building blocks for ABS national accounts as they are used to ensure GDP is balanced for all three approaches (production, expenditure and income) and provide the annual benchmarks (levels) from which the quarterly estimates are compiled.
This approach to compiling GDP accounts applies to all years since 1994-95, except the last financial year 2018-19. The benchmarked GDP account is first published in the September quarter issue of the Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product (cat. no. 5206.0) of the National Accounts. This strategy means that the quarterly accounts will never be projected more than eight quarters from a balanced set of annual accounts. Apart from the most recent year and the June quarter national accounts (for which a balanced estimate is not available), there will be only one measure of annual GDP, and consequently no statistical discrepancies in annual terms.
Conceptually, the Australian System of National Accounts (ASNA) and the supply-use tables are fully integrated and consistent. Whereas intermediate consumption is netted out from the GDP account, supply-use tables bring inter-industry flows of commodities back into focus, thereby providing a more analytically useful articulation of production, and the structure and interrelationships of industries.
The data published in the supply-use tables are consistent with the latest release of the Australian System of National Accounts (cat. no. 5204.0).
What are the differences between the supply-use tables and the input-output tables?
Both the supply-use tables and input-output tables provide a means of undertaking detailed analysis of the process of production and the use of goods and services (i.e. products), and of the income generated in that production.
The supply-use tables form the starting point for constructing input-output tables. The input-output tables serve to provide a more detailed basis for analysing industries and products, with more comprehensive product and industry breakdowns than the supply-use tables. In addition, symmetric input-output tables are required for matrix analysis and modelling. A symmetric table refers to when the same classifications or units (e.g. the same groups of products) are used in both rows and columns.
The input-output tables are published for only a point in time and are not revised once they have been finalised. In contrast, the supply-use tables form a time series for all periods from 1994-95 up to the year preceding the latest completed financial year. The supply-use tables are subject to revision.
In addition, the input-output tables depart from the 2008 SNA and from the rest of the Australian national accounts in one main respect, namely the definition of output at basic prices. The departure relates to the treatment of charges incurred in moving goods from their point of production to the final user, where delivery charges relating to delivery by a third party operator arranged by the producer and paid for by the producer and not separately charged to the end user are treated differently in 2008 SNA.
Under the 1968 version of the System of National Accounts (1968 SNA) these charges were excluded from the basic price valuation of the good concerned while under the 2008 SNA treatment the basic price valuation of the good includes these delivery charges. The ABS considers that the change in definition was inappropriate from an analytical point of view and would result in the same product being valued differently depending whether or not the producer charged separately for the delivery of the product. The ABS therefore applies an adjustment to the input-output tables to reallocate delivery charges separably invoiced to transport, so including them in transport margins and reducing basic prices.
What classifications are used in the supply-use tables?
Supply-use tables are available at the level of 67 industries and 114 product groups based on specifically developed product and industry classifications.
The Supply-Use Product Group Classification (SUPG) is an industry-of-origin product classification. The overall principles for the preparation of such an industry-of-origin product classification include homogeneity of inputs and usage. The SUPG has 114 product groups made of 301 individual product items. The SUPG is equivalent to the Input-Output Product Group (IOPG) classification used to compile the input-output tables released in Australian National Accounts: Input-Output Tables (cat. no. 5209.0.55.001).
The Supply-Use Industry Classification (SUIC) disaggregates the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC06), 2006 (cat. no. 1292.0), in which the first two digits of the SUIC typically refer to the ANZSIC06 subdivision to which the product is primary.
The supply-use classifications and a concordance between the supply-use and input-output classifications can be found in Table 4 of this publication.
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