The supply-use tables reconcile how the supply of goods and services (either as a result of domestic production or imports from other countries) within the economy in an accounting period are used for intermediate consumption by businesses, final consumption by households or the government, capital formation, exported or stored in inventories. The supply-use tables also provide the link between industry inputs, industry outputs and the primary income components of Gross Value Added (GVA).
Supply-use tables are a powerful tool to compare and contrast data from various sources and improve the coherence of the economic information system. They permit an analysis of markets and industries and allow productivity to be studied at this level of disaggregation. A fundamental role is played in the Australian System of National Accounts (ASNA) by supply-use tables as they show, for the economy as a whole and for groups of products, the total resources in terms of domestic output and imports, and the uses of goods and services in terms of intermediate consumption, final consumption, gross capital formation and exports. They also provide information on the generation of income from production.
The supply-use time series from 1994-95 is available through the Data Explorer website.
Concepts, sources and methods
The supply-use tables are compiled in accordance with international standards contained in the System of National Accounts. These standards are presented in the System of National Accounts, 2008 (SNA08). Australia's application of these SNA standards is described in chapter 7 of the Australian System of National Accounts: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 5216.0). This publication outlines major concepts and definitions, describes sources of data and methods used to derive the supply-use tables, as well as annual and quarterly estimates for major aggregates at current prices and in chain volume terms, and discusses the accuracy and reliability of the national accounts. In addition, it includes documentation on national accounts aggregates such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP), input-output tables, financial accounts, capital stock, productivity measures, balance sheets, and state accounts.
The supply-use framework comprises two tables as shown in Figure 1. The supply table shows the total supply of products from domestic and foreign producers that are available for use in the domestic economy. The use table presents the use of this supply by industries as intermediate inputs and by final users. Once both sides are equal (i.e. supply = use) for all products, the supply-use tables are said to be balanced. Balanced supply-use tables provide the benchmarks for the current price and chain volume measures of annual GDP.
Figure 1 - Supply-use tables - framework for the economy
Figure 1 - Supply-use tables - framework for the economy
The left side of Figure 1 is a supply table. The domestic output matrix forms the main body of the supply table. In this matrix, industries appear across columns and products across rows, and each cell indicates the amount of each product that is produced domestically by each industry at basic prices. Total domestic supply by commodity (valued at basic prices) presents the sum of the domestic output and imports. Imports are valued at domestic port value, that is, free on board, which is equivalent to the importer’s customs frontier price.
The valuation adjustments bridge the difference between total domestic supply at basic prices and domestic supply at purchasers’ prices. This adjustment includes the margin component and the tax and subsidy component. The purpose of the margin component is to show the allocation of wholesale and retail trade margins and transportation costs to the products on which these charges are levied.
The tax and subsidy component adds taxes on products and subtracts subsidies, thereby completing the transformation from basic prices to purchasers’ prices. Taxes on products include general government sales and excise taxes. Subsidies are monetary grants paid by government agencies to private business and to government enterprises to keep prices of products low/competitive.
The structure of the use table shows the use of products by industries and by final users as well as the value added by industry at purchasers’ prices. Valuation in purchasers’ prices shows inputs to industries and final uses at values that reflect the actual cost to the user of the product. These costs includes the costs of transporting the product to the user in addition to any wholesale and retail mark-ups incurred while bringing the product to market.
The right side of Figure 1 is an industry-level use table in the supply-use framework. This table comprises the intermediate inputs, final demand, and value added matrix. The intermediate inputs matrix forms the central part of the use table. Industries appear across columns and products across rows. In the use table, each cell indicates the amount of a product purchased by each industry as an intermediate input into the industry’s production process. These products are valued at purchasers’ prices, meaning that taxes, transportation costs, and wholesale and retail trade margins are embedded in the total along with the underlying value of the product purchased. No distinction is made in the use table between imports and domestically produced output.
The final demand matrix presents expenditure-side components of GDP, including household and government final consumption expenditures, gross final capital formation, change in inventories and exports. Products appear in the rows, and final demand categories (rather than industries) valued at purchasers' prices appear across the columns.
Value added by industry at basic prices appears in a row under total intermediate inputs. The values in this row equal total output by industry (row A) in the supply table minus the value of intermediate inputs at purchasers’ prices (row B) in the use table. This equivalency - gross output minus intermediate purchases equal value added generated by production - is an accounting identity that must hold true.
The primary income components of value added are also shown. These components are compensation of employees (return to labour), gross operating surplus (return to capital), and other net taxes on production (return to government).
Application of supply-use tables in the 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 latest financial year 2021-22. The benchmarked GDP account is first published in the September quarter issue of the Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product 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.
Three measures of GDP
GDP is derived by three approaches: the income approach (I), the expenditure approach (E) and the production approach (P). A description of each approach is provided in the following paragraphs. While each measure should, conceptually, produce the same estimate of GDP, if the three measures are compiled independently using different data sources, then different estimates of GDP result. The ABS aligns the estimates of GDP annually by balancing them in supply-use tables.
Income approach (I): GDP using the income approach is derived as the sum of compensation of employees, gross operating surplus, gross mixed income and taxes less subsidies on production and imports. Volume estimates are derived at the total GDP level by deflating current price estimates by the implicit price deflator from the expenditure approach.
Expenditure approach (E): GDP using the expenditure approach is derived as the sum of all final expenditures, changes in inventories and exports of goods and services less imports of goods and services. Final expenditures include household final consumption, government final consumption, and gross fixed capital formation for the private sector, public enterprises and general government. Volume estimates are derived for each of the components as well as for their sum.
Production approach (P): GDP using the production approach is derived as the sum of gross value added for each industry, at basic prices, plus taxes less subsidies on products. Basic values represent the amounts received by producers, including the value of any subsidies on products, but before any taxes on products. The difference between the sum over all industries of gross value added at basic prices, and GDP at market (or purchasers') prices, is the value of taxes less subsidies on products.
Annual estimates using the I, E and P approaches are identical for the years for which supply-use tables are compiled. For years balanced using supply-use tables, quarterly GDP is benchmarked to annual GDP. However, the three estimates of GDP can be different for any given quarter. The annual GDP estimate produced by balancing using supply-use tables forms the benchmark for the production of quarterly GDP going forward. Quarterly GDP is compiled in chain volume terms using all three approaches. The headline measure of GDP is a simple average of the three separate measures. It is labelled GDP(A), with "A" denoting "average".
Prior to 1994-95 quarterly and annual estimates using each approach are based on independent sources, and there are usually differences between the I, E and P estimates. For these periods, a single estimate of GDP has been compiled. In chain volume terms, GDP is derived by averaging the chain volume estimates obtained from each of the three independent approaches. The current price estimate of GDP is obtained by reflating the average chain volume estimate by the implicit price deflator derived from the expenditure-based estimates.
As a result of the above methods, there is no statistical discrepancy for annual estimates from 1994-95 up to the year prior to the latest complete financial year, in either current price or volume terms, except for estimates released in the June quarter where discrepancies will exist for the latest two complete financial years. For years prior to 1994-95, and for all quarters, statistical discrepancies exist between estimates based on the I, E and P approaches and the single estimate of GDP, in both current prices and volume terms. These discrepancies are shown in the relevant tables.
The supply-use tables in current prices provide benchmarks to the Australian System of National Accounts (ASNA) (cat. no. 5204.0) at the levels outlined below.
Gross operating surplus and mixed income, compensation of employees, and other taxes less subsidies on production are benchmarked at Australian and New Zealand standard industry classification (ANZSIC) division.
Household final consumption expenditure is benchmarked at the Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose (COICOP).
Gross fixed capital formation is benchmarked by institutional sector and type of capital asset.
Change in inventories for selected industries is benchmarked at the Australian total non-farm level.
Imports, exports, taxes less subsidies on products and government final consumption expenditure are benchmarked at the Australian total.
The supply-use tables products are compiled at a lower level than the published Supply-Use Product Group (SUPG). As a result, for several expenditure categories, there are many SUPGs that concord to several expenditure categories. For example SUPG 2301 Motor Vehicles and Parts; Other Transport Equipment manufacturing concords to several COICOPs including Purchase of Vehicles (cars and trucks), Operation of Vehicles (car parts and accessories), Goods for Recreation & Culture (recreational caravans, boats and aircraft), and Other Goods & Services (recreational boat and aircraft repair and maintenance). A concordance between supply-use classifications and the classifications used in the ASNA can be found in Table 4 of this publication.
Differences between Supply-Use tables and 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.
The supply-use tables have been divided into three sections.
Any discrepancies between totals and sums of components in this publication are due to rounding.
Table 1. Supply by product group by industry
This table shows total supply of product groups (SUPG) for the reference year and previous two years, by Supply-Use Industry Classification (SUIC) at basic prices, imports and the reconciliation of basic prices to purchasers' prices. Margins and taxes less subsidies on products are added to output at basic prices to derive total supply at purchasers' prices. A row in this table represents a product group and a column represents either an industry group, a margin type, taxes less subsidies on products or a total supply category.
Table 2. Use by product group by industry
This table shows total use of product group (SUPG) for the reference year and previous two years by intermediate use of using industries (SUIC) and final use by final demand categories, at purchasers' prices. A row in this table represents a product group and a column represents either an industry group, a final demand or total use category.
Table 3. Primary inputs by industry
This table shows primary inputs by industry (SUIC) for the reference year and previous two years. A row in this table represents a primary input and a column represents either an industry group or a total primary inputs category.
The full time series of the above tables are available via the Data Explorer website.
Classifications 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.
The Supply-Use Industry Classification (SUIC) disaggregates the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC06), 2006, in which the first two digits of the SUIC typically refer to the ANZSIC06 subdivision to which the product is primary.
Industry and product concordance tables
The SUIC(2018) table shows the 2018 SUIC code in column A with the 2018 SUIC descriptor shown in column B.
IOIG(2015) to SUIC(2018)
In the IOIG(2015) to SUIC(2018) table, the 2015 IOIG codes are shown in column A with the 2015 IOIG descriptors in column B. The 2018 SUIC codes are in column C with the 2018 SUIC descriptors shown in column D.
The SUPG(2018) table shows the 2018 SUPG code in column A with the 2018 SUPG descriptor shown in column B.
SUPG(2018) to COICOP
In the SUPG(2018) to COICOP table, the 2018 SUPG codes are show in column A with the SUPG(2018) descriptors in column B. The COICOP codes are in column C with the COICOP descriptors shown in column E. Column F indicates whether a 2018 SUPG is mapped partially to a COICOP and is indicated by a 'p' in the column.
SUPG(2018) to Capital asset types
In the SUPG(2018) to Capital assets types table, the 2018 SUPG codes are show in column A with the SUPG(2018) descriptors in column B. The Capital asset types are in column C. Column D indicates whether a 2018 SUPG is mapped partially to a Capital Asset Type and is indicated by a 'p' in the column.
Products combined for confidentiality purposes
The information contained in these product details has been confidentialised. This confidentiality has been applied through the suppression of some values (shown as 'n.p.').
Reliability and revisions
The supply-use tables progressively incorporate a large number of data sources such as business activity surveys, household expenditure surveys, investment surveys, international trade statistics, government finance statistics and taxation data. A balancing process is undertaken to achieve consistency between the supply and use of products in the economy, in both current price and volume terms. Data inconsistencies are reviewed and resolved by altering some of the underlying data. The supply-use tables for each year are essentially compiled three times because more comprehensive data only become available with a considerable time lag.
The sequence of supply-use tables compilation is according to the following timetable:
- 1st preliminary - end of year t + 12 months;
- 2nd preliminary - end of year t + 24 months; and
- Final - end of year t + 36 months.
Annual and quarterly national accounts estimates are benchmarked to successive vintages of the supply-use tables to maintain consistency within the national accounts system. Periodically, the ABS will open up the supply-use tables beyond the normal three years to take on revisions that impact the whole time series, for example, from conceptual changes, methodological changes and new or updated data sources.
Current publications and other products released by the ABS are listed on the ABS website. The ABS also publishes a release calendar which details products to be released within the next six months.
Users may also wish to refer to the following publications and other data products that are available free of charge from the ABS website:
- Annual Australian System of National Accounts (cat. no. 5204.0);
- Annual Australian National Accounts: State Accounts (cat. no. 5220.0);
- Quarterly Australian National Accounts: Finance and Wealth (cat. no. 5232.0); and
- Annual Australian National Accounts: Input-Output Tables (cat. No. 5209.0.55.001).
The United Nations provides information on supply-use tables with its Handbook on Supply, Use and Input-Output Tables.