New data shows lockdown impacts on business turnover

Media Release

The first in a series of new monthly economic indicators released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) uses big data to provide insights on business turnover.

The ABS Monthly Business Turnover Indicator shows the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions in large parts of Australia in August 2021, with Accommodation and food services experiencing the largest decrease in business turnover, 6.5 per cent, following a 16.6 per cent fall in July. Big falls were also recorded in August in Arts and recreation services (5.1 per cent) and Other services (5.5 per cent). Lockdowns directly impacted the operations of businesses in these industries including cafes and restaurants, fitness centres and museums.

The business turnover indicator was relatively unchanged for Mining in August (up 0.1 per cent), after a 4.6 per cent rise in July in line with strong commodity prices.

Australian Statistician, Dr David Gruen, said, “The ABS developed the Monthly Business Turnover Indicator using Australian Tax Office (ATO) Business Activity Statement (BAS) data, enabling more timely information to be released without placing any additional burden on businesses.”

“New monthly indicators on household spending and employee earnings using existing big data are also being developed,” Dr Gruen said.

The ABS would like to acknowledge the critical support from the Australian Taxation Office to produce this new monthly business turnover indicator.

Media notes

  • Monthly BAS reporting covers businesses with GST annual turnover of $20 million or more and a proportion of smaller businesses that report on a voluntary basis.
  • The indicator includes 13 of the 19 industry divisions classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006.
  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team via (8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri).
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