12.1 International merchandise trade statistics are important statistics in their own right, as measures of the nature, quantity and value of trade between Australia and the rest of the world. They are an important data source for other statistics produced by the ABS, such as the balance of payments, the national accounts, and the international trade price indexes. Selected international merchandise trade statistics are also used in and/or to validate other statistics produced by the ABS. For example, international merchandise trade statistics are used to validate data compiled for the Energy Account, Australia (cat. no. 4604.0).
12.2 This chapter begins by briefly describing the conceptual frameworks underlying economic statistics namely the International Merchandise Trade Statistics: Concepts and Definitions, 2010 (IMTS 2010), System of National Accounts, 2008 (2008 SNA) and Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual, Sixth Edition (BPM6). It then explains the relationships between Australia's international merchandise trade statistics, balance of payments, national accounts and international trade price indexes, all of which use international merchandise trade statistics.