8501.0 - Retail Trade, Australia, Jul 2009  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/09/2009   
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From this issue, the series presented in this publication will be compiled and presented according to a revised industry classification. Previous issues of this publication were based on Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 1993 (cat. no. 1292.0). Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (cat. no. 1292.0) will be used for this and future issues. This issue includes monthly current price estimates with quarterly chain volume measures, up to June quarter 2009, to be first released on an ANZSIC 2006 basis in the August 2009 issue.

Information paper: ANZSIC 2006 Implementation in Retail Trade Statistics, July 2009 (cat no. 8501.0.55.006) advised of the introduction of the revised industry classification, provided background to the change and described the impact on the presentation of statistics in this publication. The information paper also provided mock-ups of the publication and time series spreadsheets as they will appear from this issue and a concordance between the current and new time series identifiers.

This article provides information on the scope of Retail trade statistics under ANZSIC 2006 and the impact on time series and seasonal adjustment.


The scope of the Retail trade series will align with the Retail trade Division of ANZSIC 2006 with several exceptions. First, Retail trade statistics will continue to include selected food services (Cafes, restaurants and takeaway food services) which under ANZSIC 2006 are included in the Accommodation and food services Division. Second, the ANZSIC 2006 Retail trade Division includes the following industries which will continue to be excluded from Retail trade statistics:

  • Motor vehicle retailing
  • Motor vehicle parts and tyre retailing
  • Fuel retailing
  • Marine equipment retailing.

Household equipment repair services are included in the ANZSIC 1993 Retail trade Division but were out-of-scope of Retail trade statistics. Under ANZSIC 2006 these services are not included in the Retail trade Division and remain out-of-scope of the statistics.

Paragraph 5 in the Explanatory notes defines the industry groupings used to present statistics in this publication and defines each Retail trade industry subgroup in terms of ANZSIC 2006 classes.

Further details on the classification changes impacting on Retail trade are described in Information paper ANZSIC 2006 Implementation in Retail Trade Statistics, July 2009 (cat. no. 8501.0.55.006).


Introducing ANZSIC 2006 had several impacts on the Retail trade time series. Some businesses in an industry class or part of a class moved into-scope or out-of-scope of Retail trade or the industry subgroup to which they contribute may have changed. These changes impacted on:
  • the population of businesses included in Retail trade
  • the way these businesses are grouped together for sampling purposes
  • the sample selected
  • the industries used to present the statistics.

In addition, the benchmarks used to group businesses on the Retail trade survey frame have been updated to reflect more up-to-date information, primarily Total sales reported to the Australian Taxation Office on Business Activity Statements. The number of businesses selected in the Retail trade sample has not changed significantly. However, the sample has been redesigned to take into account the updated industry and benchmark information. These changes resulted in only 1,500 of the 2,700 'smaller' businesses selected in the ANZSIC 1993 sample also being selected in the ANZSIC 2006 sample. All the most significant 'larger businesses' that remain in-scope were selected in both the ANZSIC 1993 and ANZSIC 2006 samples.

Creating a historical ANZSIC 2006 series

The ABS constructed an interim historical series based on the ANZSIC 2006 industry classification at the state by industry subgroup level from the beginning of the series (in 1982) up until June 2009. Because data were not collected on an ANZSIC 2006 basis for this whole period, this interim historical series are based on ratios applied to the existing ANZSIC 1993 series. The ratios account for businesses moving between industries, and businesses coming into or out of scope of the series. These ratios were calculated separately at the Total and completely enumerated levels for each state by industry subgroup and applied to the ANZSIC 1993 series.

This resulted in an interim historical series on an ANZSIC 2006 industry basis that represented a first estimate of what the series would have looked like if they were collected using the new industry definition. To refine this interim estimate the ABS conducted the Retail Business Survey on both an ANZSIC 1993 and ANZSIC 2006 basis for three months (April to June 2009). The difference between the actual series based on the Survey and the initial historical series was measured for these three months. This difference has been backcast through the monthly interim historical series to July 1994 to create the final historical series.

The same process was used to calculate a historical series for the completely enumerated sector. The historical series for the sample sector was created by deducting the completely enumerated sector series from the Total series.

The aim of the above process was to create a time series of estimates on an ANZSIC 2006 basis as continuous and comparable as possible and to maintain, as far as possible, the integrity of the period to period seasonally adjusted movements. This has been achieved at the Australia and broader industry and state levels but the process can result in some volatility at the more detailed state by industry subgroup level.

Estimates for April to July 2009 are based on the ANZSIC 2006 Retail Business Survey conducted for these months and do not incorporate backcast data.

Seasonal adjustment

The seasonal pattern for the ANZSIC 2006 estimates will initially be unknown and the ANZSIC 1993 seasonal pattern will be used as a proxy. It is possible that with the introduction of ANZSIC 2006 the ANZSIC 1993 seasonal patterns may not be as relevant to some series. For example Watch and jewellery retailing moved from the Other retailing n.e.c. industry subgroup under ANZSIC 1993 to the Footwear and other personal accessory retailing industry subgroup under ANZSIC 2006. The seasonal patterns for watch and jewellery retailers appear to differ from other businesses in the Footwear and other personal accessory retailing industry subgroup. As a result, seasonal breaks have been inserted into the Footwear and other personal accessory retailing industry subgroup to minimise the impact on this series of the different seasonal patterns for Watch and jewellery retailing. There is not currently sufficient information to assess if seasonal breaks are required for other series. The combined adjustment factors will evolve over time to reflect any new seasonal or trading day patterns but there may be increased volatility in some seasonally adjusted series in the short term. The series will be assessed for seasonal breaks in the 2010 annual seasonal reanalysis.

The Retail trade trend series have been suspended as at November 2008 as it is not possible to determine the trend in retail turnover through the period affected by the Government's stimulus packages and other influences associated with global economic conditions.

Summary of impact

The following chart compares Australian turnover on an ANZSIC 1993 basis (as published in the June 2009 issue of this publication) and an ANZSIC 2006 basis (as published in this issue).

RETAIL TURNOVER, Australia - Seasonally adjusted
Graph: Comparison between ANZSIC 1993 and ANZSIC 2006 basis, Retail Turnover, Australia, Seasonally adjusted

In original terms, there is one industry subgroup, Department stores, that has had no change to estimates due to the introduction of ANZSIC 2006. Some industry subgroups had little change to their estimates, e.g. Supermarket and grocery stores series is 1% higher for June 2009 on an ANZSIC 2006 basis. Some industry subgroups had larger changes due to changes in the scope of the industry subgroup. For example, the level estimate for Other specialised food retailing is 28% lower for June 2009 on an ANZSIC 2006 basis due to businesses that manufacture bread, cakes and pastries on premises now being out-of-scope and tobacconists now being included in Other retailing.


If you have any queries about the changes described in this paper please contact Rod Cowie on (02) 6252 6720.