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Some existing series will no longer be collected and some will be suspended from publication pending further analysis of the newly collected data. Overall, there will be more housing data available in the new publication, Lending Indicators, compared with Lending to Households and Businesses but fewer data items will be available on business loan commitments. The ABS plans to increase the content of this publication over time.
The new Economic and Financial Statistics collection
As part of its role, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) collects data from financial institutions for the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA). Some of the forms used to collect data from Authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs) and Registered Financial Corporations (RFCs) have not been updated since the early 2000’s. Over the past few years, APRA, the ABS, the RBA and industry have worked together to modernise the collection. This has been a large and complex project, involving considerable collaboration between the three agencies and industry. The new set of forms and related guidance is called the Economic and Financial Statistics collection.
EFS will give better quality data through, for example:
The EFS collection will increase the reliability and accuracy of the data published in Lending Indicators. One of the most important changes is the increased detail and precision in definitions of the data to be reported. These definitions are accompanied by comprehensive guidance to assist ADIs and other reporting institutions provide consistent data.
Reporting on the new forms commenced for July 2019 data for a three month parallel run with the existing collection to allow time to assess the effects of changes in the reporting basis before publishing the new data.
There will be changes to levels and some movements due to clearer reporting guidance on how to report concepts and classifications such as ‘residency’, ‘loan purpose’ and ‘industry’.
Where new concepts are sufficiently similar to the current concepts, the ABS will produce an historic series back to July 2002 (i.e. a backcast series) and in most cases will produce seasonally adjusted statistics. The levels of the historic series will change due to the improved reporting and updated definitions of concepts.
Newly collected data (the new data items are outlined later in this paper) will not be backcast or seasonally adjusted. Four data points (July 2019 – October 2019) will be available in the December release.
The approach to seasonal adjustment will be similar to the method used in the existing publication:
The changes to the concepts and classifications are significant. There is a high likelihood of revisions in future reporting periods as APRA, the ABS and the RBA continue to work with ADIs and other reporting institutions to ensure consistent reporting that aligns with instructions and definitions, and the impacts on seasonality can be measured. It is expected data quality will continue to improve over time.
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