Latest release

Australian Transport Economic Account: An Experimental Transport Satellite Account methodology

Reference period
2010-11 to 2015-16
Released
31/10/2018
Next release Unknown
First release

Explanatory notes

Introduction

1 This release presents information on the contribution of transport activity across all industries of the Australian economy. It is adjunct to, and consistent with, the System of National Accounts (SNA08), but presents a more complete picture of transport activity across the economy.

2 While all products and services produced and consumed with respect to transport activity are captured in the national accounts, only activity undertaken by business units categorised in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification, 2006 (ANZSIC) Division I: Transport, postal and warehousing is explicitly identified as relating to transport.

3 This Australian Transport Economic Account (ATEA) extends the focus of the national accounts to present a more detailed analysis of transport activity using additional information from other transport data sources. It covers both transport activity undertaken in the Transport, postal and warehousing industry, as already explicitly measured in the national accounts, as well as transport activity conducted by entities outside of this industry.

Concepts of transport

4 For the purposes of the ATEA, total transport activity is comprised of:

  • For-hire transport activity, which is that activity undertaken on a fee for-hire basis in the Transport, postal and warehousing industry (Division I), as defined in ANZSIC. This corresponds with transport as it is viewed in the national accounts. It includes, for example, air passenger transport by commercial airlines, or transport of goods by freight transport businesses.
  • In-house transport activity, which is conducted outside of industry Division I. The majority of this activity is own-account (or ‘ancillary’) output, which is not intended for market, and is consumed in the production of the industry’s primary output. An example of this activity is a retail business using its own truck to deliver goods from a warehouse to the retail outlet. In-house transport in this account also encompasses any secondary production of transport activity for market, outside of Division I. For example, where that same retail business then uses their own truck to deliver the goods to the customer for a delivery fee.
     

Scope

5 Broadly, the scope of the ATEA is all transport activity undertaken in the Australian economy, where transport activity is the movement of people or goods from one location to another.

6 The ATEA includes the same industries and products as are in scope of the Australian System of National Accounts (ASNA), with the addition of In-house transport industries and products. Estimates are calculated at the national level only.

7 The ATEA captures In-house transport activity within the four primary modes of transport – Road, Rail, Air and Water, as defined in the ANZSIC (Divisions 46 to 49). Non-transport industries are assumed only to undertake In-house transport activities consistent with those four modes. In-house transport activity therefore excludes postal, transport support and warehousing services.

8 The In-house production of transport services in scope of the ATEA is restricted to the movement of people or freight that could potentially be outsourced to transport units in ANZSIC Division I. As such, Transport activity that cannot be disentangled from the primary production process of the unit is considered out of scope of the ATEA. However, there is no practical way to separately identify this activity, and it is likely that estimates include activity such as that of waste collection services and police and emergency services patrols.

9 To maintain links to the national accounts, transport services provided by households for their own use are not in scope of the ATEA. It is recognised that such information may be useful for analytical purposes and options to include such services will be explored for future issues of this release. Such information, if included, would likely be supplementary to the accounts rather than directly included so as to maintain those links with the National Accounts

Assumptions

10 This account has been produced on an experimental basis, drawing on existing datasets to demonstrate the future potential of such an account. Data sources used were not designed for the purpose of an ATEA, and therefore a number of underlying assumptions have been made, which should be considered in interpreting results.

11 These include the following:

  • For each mode of transport, non-transport industries are assumed to exhibit the same input structure and production function of the Division I industry. For example, In-house Road Transport is assumed to have the same structure as that of the Road transport industry in Division I.
  • All economic activity within Division I is assumed to be For-hire transport. No adjustments are made to exclude secondary activity undertaken within that industry that is not related to the provision of transport services.
  • Division I products have not been used as an input to the In-House Transport industry, as it is assumed these activities will be captured within Division I.
  • Extrapolation of the time series from base year data assumes that the relative use of in-house transport products remain constant over time.
     

International standards

12 There are currently no international standards or guidelines for developing a Transport Satellite Account, although their development is currently being considered by the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

13 The methodology for the ATEA closely follows that of the United States and Canadian accounts, with some variation due to differences in available data sources.

Methodology

14 The supply and use tables for the Australian economy provide the framework in which transport activity across the economy can be identified. Moreover, they provide the means of calculating transport gross value added (GVA) and gross domestic product (GDP).

15 Supply-use (SU) tables are an integral and essential element of the ABS national accounts. They provide an integrated framework of the total supply of goods and services (collectively “products”) from domestic and foreign producers that are available for use across the Australian economy. Further information on the supply and use framework can be found in the ABS’ Information Paper: Australian National Accounts, Supply Use Tables, 2018 (cat. no. 5204.0.55.014).

16 In broad terms, the ATEA involves reorganising the information in the supply and use tables in a way that is consistent with the ASNA framework and respects the same industries and classifications. In doing so, the ATEA introduces four new In-house transport industries within the supply and use framework – one for each of the four primary modes of transport: Road, Rail, Air and Water.

17 The supply of each of these new industries is compiled by identifying the inputs, both intermediate and primary, used in the production of In-house transport by non-transport industries. Each of these new industries only produces a single output, which is In-house transport relating to the specific mode.

18 These new In-house transport industries thus explicitly capture supply and use relating to In-house transport activity.

Identifying and calculating transport-related inputs

19 Estimates of inputs used in the production of In-house transport are identified from the supply-use tables in three components:

  • Transport related inputs (TRIs);
  • Non-transport related inputs (NTRIs); and
  • Primary inputs (value added components).
     

20 TRIs, such as fuel, insurance and repairs, are inputs considered essential to transport activity. In the main, these inputs are used solely in the production of transport. An exception is fuel products, which have significant use for other purposes, such as the running of plant and machinery. To account for this, use of fuel specific to transport was estimated using data from Business Transport Activity, Australia (cat. no. 9269.0).

21 NTRIs refer to other intermediate inputs which are used in the production of In-house transport, but are not specific to transport. These may include inputs such as accounting services and office supplies.

22 For the ATEA, the new In-house transport industries are assumed to use the same input structures as those used in producing For-hire transport. NTRIs are imputed based on the ratios of TRI to NTRI in the corresponding For-hire industry, recognising that input structures vary between modes of transport produced.

23 Primary inputs, or value-added components of In-house transport, are calculated using the ratio of each value-added input to total intermediate inputs of the corresponding For-hire transport industry. Value-added components include compensation of employees, gross operating surplus, and other net taxes on production.

Input reallocation

24 Once estimates of In-house transport inputs have been constructed, they are allocated to the new In-house transport industries and products. The use of these new products is also allocated to the industry that originally produced these services.

Taxes and subsidies

25 To complete the picture of transport's contribution to the economy, an estimate of taxes less subsidies on products is required. However, no such adjustment is necessary for In-house transport, as the input-based approach to measurement ensures its supply and use are already valued consistently. In principle, some net taxes on products for secondary production of transport within In-House transport is payable, however it has not been estimated in this account due to its relative insignificance.

26 Taxes and subsidies on any products produced by the For-Hire industries are allocated based on the contribution of each industry to the output of that product. For example, the ‘Rail transport’ industry (ANZSIC subdivision 47) is the sole producer of the product ‘Rail passenger transport services’, so the full values for both taxes and subsidies on this product are allocated to this industry.

Secondary transport production and margins

27 In-house transport activity comprises of three distinct components:

  • In-house transport activity for own use (ancillary production);
  • In-house transport supplied to another institutional unit (secondary production); and
  • Transport margins.
     

28 As In-house transport estimates in the ATEA have been built up from inputs related to transport activity, they represent all In-house transport activity, regardless of whether it has been supplied to another institutional unit or not. However, where transport activity is undertaken as secondary production, and services have been supplied to another institutional unit, output relating to this activity will already be captured in the supply and use tables. Thus, In-house transport output would be overstated with the introduction of the new transport products.

29 To prevent this overstatement, existing secondary production of transport services and transport margins are removed from the industries in which the activity occurred.

30 On the use side, an adjustment is also made to shift the total value of the transport margins to each of the new In-house transport products – Road, Rail, Air and Water.

Extrapolation across the time series

31 The base year for the time series produced is 2010-11, with figures extrapolated to the following periods based on the movements of values in the supply-use tables.

Impact on supply and use tables

32 The reallocation of In-house transport activity across the supply and use tables brings a transport focus to the national accounts while maintaining alignment with the supply-use benchmarks. While output and intermediate use for the whole economy increases in the supply and use tables, as a result of the reclassification of some intermediate inputs and value-added components to the new In-house transport industries, overall gross value-added and GDP does not change.

Classifications

Industry and product classification

33 The industry classifications used in this publication follow the 2006 edition of the Australian and New Zealand Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (Revision 2.0) (cat. no. 1292.0), with data produced at the Division level.

Total Transport Gross Value Added (GVA) and Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

34 Total Transport GVA and Total Transport GDP are the major economic aggregates derived in the ATEA. The concepts are not the same, and it is important to outline the differences between them.

35 GVA represents the “value” a producer adds to the raw material goods and services it purchases in the process of producing its own output. Similarly, Total Transport GVA, as measured in the ATEA, is equivalent to the value of the output of transport products (including both For-hire and In-house transport) by all industries less the value of the inputs used in producing these transport products. Output is measured at 'basic prices', that is before any taxes on transport products are added (or any subsidies on transport products are deducted).

36 SNA 2008, the international standard of national accounts, states that basic price measures are to be used for comparisons between industries and across countries because it is free of the effects of taxes and subsidies on products which can vary between industries (and countries) and over time. The tax and subsidy component of a product's sale price does not represent value added by the industry producing that product Total Transport GDP is a construct of this account to enable a direct comparison with the most widely recognised national accounting aggregate, GDP. While transport GDP is useful in this context, the Total Transport GVA measure should be used when making comparisons with other industries or between countries.

37 Total Transport GDP, measures the value added of the transport industry at purchasers' (market) prices. It therefore includes taxes paid less subsidies associated with the productive activity attributable to transport. In the case of market transactions (the For-hire transport industry), Transport GDP will generally have a lower value than transport value added due to subsidies received for transport. In-house Transport GDP however, is identical to In-house transport GVA, as the input-based approach to measurement ensures its supply and use are already valued consistently.

Data sources

Economic Activity Survey

38 The Economic Activity Survey (EAS) produces estimates of the economic and financial performance of Australian industry, with the purpose of feeding into the National Accounts and several publications, specifically Australian Industry (cat. no. 8155.0).

39 The 2010-11 EAS collected a range of data relating to transport activity undertaken in non-transport industries, with results published in Business Transport Activity, Australia, 2010-11. These data have been incorporated in the ATEA to inform industry use of transport by mode, and transport specific use of fuel. Future ATEA may make greater use of EAS data to consider other expenses including repairs, parts and maintenance, rental, leasing and hiring, and registration fees and transport vehicle insurance.

40 While this account draws on EAS data to inform aspects of In-house transport, results of this experimental account may not be consistent with those published in Business Transport Activity, Australia, 2010-11 . This is due to reliance on supply and use benchmarks in producing this account, which incorporate data from numerous sources and are revised over time. Additionally, the scope of supply and use tables is broader than that of the EAS which further contributes to differences in outputs.

Supply-Use tables (2010-11 through 2015-16)

41 The ASNA SU tables present information on supply and use by detailed product item, based on the S-U Production Classification (SUPC). These tables provide the framework in which ATEA estimates are compiled.

42 This experimental account has been compiled using the 2010-11 through 2015-16 SU tables, as incorporated in Australian System of National Accounts, 2016-17 (cat. no. 5204.0). As such any revisions made subsequent to that release will not be reflected in the ATEA.

Labour Statistics

43 Every employed person has a job, however, because they can have multiple jobs, measures of employment and measures of jobs are conceptually different. It is important to distinguish between estimates of employment and estimates of jobs as conceptually different measures of labour. Household surveys typically estimate employment, such that they provide data on the number of people in the labour force, not the number of jobs in the economy. Further information can be found in the Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001)

Labour force statistics

44 The Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly (cat. no. 6291.0.55.003) publication provides detailed employment related statistics on the sum of employed people and unemployed people in the Australian economy (the labour force). Data on employed persons by industry of main job as per ANZSIC informs a number of employment related statistics in support of this account including transport employed persons by industry, and by status in employment.

45 This experimental account draws on data published in the data in the May 2018 issue. Any revisions made subsequent to that release will not be reflected in the ATEA.

Labour accounts statistics

46 The Labour Account, Australia, Quarterly Experimental Estimates (cat. no. 6150.0.55.001) publication provides labour market related statistics on jobs, persons, labour volume and labour payments within the Australian economy. The Australian Labour Account provides a framework through which existing labour market data from different sources can be confronted and integrated, with the aim of producing a coherent and consistent set of aggregate labour market statistics. Household side and business side data and are confronted to help identify and address gaps and inconsistencies in the source data sets.

47 The Labour Account provides a time series of estimates of the number of employed persons, the number of jobs, hours worked and the income earned for each industry in one coherent framework. Historically, published statistics on employed persons in each industry have only been available for industry of main job. The expanded scope and additional data sources used in the Labour Account includes data for multiple job holders by industry of second, third and fourth job. For the first time, this enables an industry perspective of the total number of people employed in each industry in a time series. Further information can be found in the Technical Note: Uses of the Australian Labour Account.

48 Transport related jobs estimates produced from Labour Account refer to only filled jobs associated with the production of transport activity in the economy across all industries; this does not include job vacancies. Further information on this distinction can be found in the Technical Note: Uses of the Australian Labour Account.

49 This experimental account draws on data published in the data in September 2017 issue. As such any revisions made subsequent to that release will not be reflected in the ATEA.

Quality of estimates

50 While considerable care has been taken to ensure the quality of the estimates in this account, users should exercise some caution in the use and interpretation of the results.

51 This account is experimental in terms of both the method employed and the data sources utilised. It is intended primarily as a proof of concept to demonstrate the potential use and value of such an account.

52 Estimates have been prepared from a range of statistical sources, with differences in coverage, concepts and timing. As such, the accuracy of these estimates are subject to a higher degree of error than that generally pertaining to the broader level estimates published in the national accounts.

53 Employment and productivity relating to transport have been derived from both the Labour Force Statistics and Labour Account Statistics. For productivity measurement, while indexes of actual hours worked are considered to be of good quality, they are published as indexes as levels may be subject to non-sampling error. Non-sampling error arises from inaccuracies in collecting, recording and processing the data. Every effort is made to minimise reporting error by the careful design of questionnaires, intensive training and supervision of interviewers, and efficient data processing procedures. Non-sampling error also arises because information cannot be obtained from all persons selected in the survey.

Revisions

54 Figures presented in this release may be subject to revision as more complete and accurate information becomes available, pending future release of this account.

Glossary

Show all

Ancillary activity

A supporting activity undertaken within an enterprise in order to create the conditions within which the principal or secondary activities can be carried out; this production being undertaken for the use of the producer. See also In-house transport and Secondary activity.

Basic price

The amount receivable by the producer from the purchaser for a unit of a good or service produced as output, minus any tax payable plus any subsidy receivable, on that unit as a consequence of its production or sale. It excludes any transport charges invoiced separately by the producer. See also Purchasers' price.

Compensation of employees

The total remuneration, in cash or in kind, payable by an enterprise to an employee in return for work done by the employee during the accounting period. It is further classified into two sub-components: wages and salaries; and employers’ social contributions. Compensation of employees is not payable in respect of unpaid work undertaken voluntarily, including the work done by members of a household within an unincorporated enterprise owned by the same household. Compensation of employees excludes any taxes payable by the employer on the wage and salary bill (e.g. payroll tax). See also Employers' social contributions and Wages and salaries.

Chain price indexes

Annually-reweighted chain Laspeyres price indexes referenced to the same year as the chain volume measures. They can be thought of as a series of indexes measuring price change from a base year to the following year using current price values in the base year as weights, linked together to form a continuous time series. In other words, chain price indexes are constructed in a similar fashion to the chain volume indexes.

Chain volume measures

Annually-reweighted chain Laspeyres volume indexes referenced to the current price values in a chosen reference year (See also reference year). Chain Laspeyres volume measures are compiled by linking together (compounding) movements in volumes, calculated using the average prices of the previous financial year, and applying the compounded movements to the current price estimates of the reference year.

Current prices

Estimates are valued at the prices of the period to which the observation relates. For example, estimates for this financial year are valued using this financial year's prices. This contrasts to chain volume measures where the prices used in valuation refer to the prices of the previous year.

Employed person

Is a person aged 15 years and over who, during the reference week:

  • worked for one hour or more for pay, profit, commission or payment in kind in a job or business, or on a farm (comprising employees, employers and own account workers); or
  • worked for one hour or more without pay in a family business or on a farm (i.e. contributing family workers); or
  • were employees who had a job but were not at work and were: away from work for less than four weeks up to the end of the reference week; or away from work for more than four weeks up to the end of the reference week and received pay for some or all of the four week period to the end of the reference week; or away from work as a standard work or shift arrangement; or on strike or locked out; or on workers' compensation and expected to return to their job; or
  • were employers or own account workers, who had a job, business or farm, but were not at work.
     

Employers' social contributions

Payments by employers which are intended to secure for their employees the entitlement to social benefits should certain events occur, or certain circumstances exist, that may adversely affect their employees' income or welfare - namely work-related accidents and retirement. See also Compensation of employees and Wages and salaries.
 

Exports of goods and services

The value of goods exported and amounts receivable from non-residents for the provision of services by residents.

For-hire Transport

Transport activity that is undertaken on a fee for-hire basis in the Transport, postal and warehousing industry (Division I), as defined in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industry Classification (ANZSIC).

Full-time workers

Employed persons who usually worked 35 hours or more a week (in all jobs) and those who, although usually working fewer than 35 hours a week, worked 35 hours or more during the reference week. See also Part-time workers.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

The total market value of goods and services produced in Australia within a given period after deducting the cost of goods and services used up in the process of production, but before deducting allowances for the consumption of fixed capital. Thus gross domestic product, as here defined, is 'at market prices'. Consumption of fixed capital (or depreciation) represents the decline in the current value of the producer’s stock of fixed assets as a result of physical deterioration, foreseen obsolescence or normal accidental damage. Net Domestic Product (NDP) is the result after deducting depreciation from GDP.

Gross Operating Surplus (GOS)

A measure of the surplus accruing to owners from processes of production. It is the excess of gross output over the sum of intermediate consumption, compensation of employees, and taxes less subsidies on production and imports. It is calculated before deduction of consumption of fixed capital, dividends, interest, royalties and land rent, and direct taxes payable, but after deducting the inventory valuation adjustment.

Gross Value Added (GVA)

The value of output at basic prices minus the value of intermediate consumption at purchasers' prices. The term is used to describe gross product by industry and by sector. Basic prices valuation of output removes the distortion caused by variations in the incidence of commodity taxes and subsidies across the output of individual industries. See also Intermediate consumption and Output.

Hours worked

The hours worked by all labour engaged in the production of transport, including hours worked by wages and salary earners, employers, self-employed persons, and persons working one hour or more without pay in a family business.

In-house transport

Transport undertaken outside of the Transport, postal and warehousing industry (Division I), as defined in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industry Classification (ANZSIC). This encapsulates both own-account (or ‘ancillary’) production, which is not intended for market, and is consumed in the production of the industry’s primary input, as well as secondary production on transport on a fee for-hire basis. See also Ancillary activity and Secondary activity.

Intermediate inputs (alternately intermediate consumption or Total Intermediate Use TIU)

Consists of the value of the goods and services consumed as inputs by a process of production, excluding the consumption of fixed capital. See also Gross value added.

Labour productivity estimates

Consist of indexes of real GDP per hour worked. For the whole economy, they have been derived by dividing the chain volume measure of GDP by hours worked. Transport labour productivity indexes have been derived by dividing the chain volume measure of transport GVA by the index for hours worked. Labour productivity indexes reflect not only the contribution of labour to changes in product per labour unit, but are also influenced by the contribution of capital and other factors affecting production.

Margin

The difference between the resale price of a good and the cost to the retailer or wholesaler of the good sold. A transport margin consists of the transport charges invoiced separately by the producer in the delivery of a good.

Net taxes on products

Also referred to as taxes less subsidies on products. A tax or subsidy on a product is payable per unit of a good or service. The tax or subsidy may be a specific amount of money per unit of quantity of a good or service (quantity being measured either in terms of discrete units or continuous physical variables such as volume, weight, strength, distance, time, etc.), or it may be calculated ad valorem as a specified percentage of the price per unit or value of the goods or services transacted. A tax or subsidy on a product usually becomes payable when the product is produced, sold or imported, but it may also become payable in other circumstances, such as when a good is exported, leased, transferred, delivered, or used for own consumption or own capital formation. See also Other taxes on production and Taxes less subsidies on products and imports.

Non-additivity

Additivity refers to an aggregate being the sum of its components. This only exists in volume index estimates when a fixed set of prices is used. As weights of a chain volume index change from year to year, chain volume indexes have no base period in the sense of a fixed weight index base period and therefore non-additivity exists in the chain volume measures. In the context of the transport chain volume estimates, 'totals' have been chained separately based on deflating the aggregate current price values, rather than summing the component chain volume estimates. Therefore, it is not recommended to calculate the proportion transport contributes to GDP or gross value added in chain volume terms.

Non-Transport Related Inputs (NTRI)

Intermediate inputs which are not primarily used in the production of a specific mode of transport, but support transport activities. Common examples include accounting services and office supplies.

Other taxes on production

Consist of all taxes that enterprises incur as a result of engaging in production, except taxes on products. Other taxes on production include: taxes related to the payroll or workforce numbers excluding compulsory social security contributions paid by employers and any taxes paid by the employees themselves out of their wages or salaries; recurrent taxes on land, buildings or other structures; some business and professional licences where no service is provided by the Government in return; taxes on the use of fixed assets or other activities; stamp duties; taxes on pollution; and taxes on international transactions. See also Taxes less subsidies on production and imports.

Output

This consists of those goods and services that are produced within an establishment that become available for use outside that establishment, plus any goods and services produced for own final use. See also Gross value added.

Part-time workers

Employed persons who usually worked fewer than 35 hours a week (in all jobs) and either did so during the reference week or were not at work during the reference week. See also Full-time workers.

Price deflation

A measure of the price component of the current price value is obtained (usually in the form of a price index) and is divided into the current price value in order to re-value it in the prices of the previous year.

Primary inputs (alternatively, value added)

Refers to compensation of employees, operating surplus and other taxes less subsidies on production.

Production boundary

Defined to include:

  • The production of all individual or collective goods or services that are supplied to units other than their producers, or intended to be so supplied, including the production of goods or services used up in the process of producing such goods or services;
  • The own-account production of all goods that are retained by their producers for their own final consumption or gross capital formation; and
  • The own-account production of housing services by owner-occupiers and of domestic and personal services produced by employing paid domestic staff.
     

Purchasers’ price

The amount paid by the purchaser, excluding any deductible tax, in order to take delivery of a unit of a good or service at the time and place required by the purchaser. The purchaser’s price of a good includes any transport charges paid separately by the purchaser to take delivery at the required time and place. See also Basic Price.

Reference year

Chain volume estimates need to be expressed in terms of the values of a particular reference year. The reference year for an index series is equal to 100, that is, the chain volume estimates are set equal to the current price values. The reference year chosen for the transport chain volume estimates is the previous financial year (t-1). This reference year ensures use of the most recent data available for sub-division level industry value added from unpublished Australian National Account’s (ANA) supply-use tables as well as consistency with the key macroeconomic aggregates (e.g. GDP) published in the ANA’s annual estimates.

Secondary activity

Activity carried out within an enterprise in addition to the principal activity and whose output, like that of the principal activity, must be suitable for delivery outside the enterprise. See also Ancillary activity and In-house transport.

Taxes less subsidies on production and imports

Defined as ‘taxes on products’ plus ‘other taxes on production’ less 'subsidies on products' less 'other subsidies on production'. The taxes do not include any taxes on the profits or other income received by an enterprise. They are payable irrespective of the profitability of the production process. They may be payable on the land, fixed assets or labour employed in the production process, or on certain activities or transactions. See also Other taxes on production and Net taxes on products.

Transport Related Inputs (TRI)

Intermediate inputs primarily used in the production of a specific mode of transport. Common examples include fuel, repairs, and maintenance.

Volume indexes

Measures growth in the volume of production and expenditures on products between any two periods of interest. Where there is more than one type of product, it is necessary to apply some kind of weighting. This is possible by valuing products at their prices in one or other period and dividing the total value of their combined production in the second period by that in the first. The same prices must be used for both periods to ensure the index reflects only changes in quantities produced. Chain linked volume indexes take account of changes to price relativities that occur from one year to the next. It is the price relativities that determine the weight given to each component of a volume index.

Wages and salaries

Consist of amounts payable in cash including the value of any social contributions, income taxes, fringe benefits tax, etc., payable by the employee even if they are actually withheld by the employer for administrative convenience or other reasons and paid directly to social insurance schemes, tax authorities, etc., on behalf of the employee. Wages and salaries may be paid as remuneration in kind instead of, or in addition to, remuneration in cash. Separation, termination and redundancy payments are also included in wages and salaries. Wages and salaries are also measured as far as possible on an accrual rather than a strict cash basis.

Quality declaration - summary

Institutional environment

For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.

Relevance

The Australian Transport Economic Account: An Experimental Transport Satellite Account (ATEA) contains estimates on total transport activity in the economy. Satellite accounts provide a framework designed to expand the analytical capacity of the existing national accounts. They supplement the Australian System of National Accounts (ASNA) and organise information in a consistent way that suits a particular analytical focus while maintaining links to the existing accounts.

This account provides information on the monetary contribution of transport activity across all industries of the Australian economy within the structure of the ASNA. A key feature of this account is that it is set within the context of the whole economy, so that transport's contribution to major national accounting aggregates can be determined and compared with other industries. It measures transport activity undertaken in the Transport, postal and warehousing industry, as already explicitly measured in the national accounts, as well as transport activity conducted by all other industries.

There are currently no agreed international standards or guidelines for developing a Transport Satellite Account, although their development is currently being considered by the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).The methodology for the the ATEA is largely consistent with the United States and Canadian Transport accounts, with some variation due to differences in available data sources.

Timeliness

The ATEA is compiled using data from six consecutive years between 2010-11 and 2015-16, on a financial year basis. The most recent data contained in this account relate to the 2015-16 financial year. The ATEA, therefore, lags the most current Australian System of National Accounts publication (2016-17) by a year.

Accuracy

Accuracy remains the main focus of ABS quality control. In the case of the ATEA, it is internationally recognised that an objective measure of accuracy in the sense of proximity to a ‘true value’ is difficult to measure.

The ATEA compilation process transforms multiple data sources into an economic account, with the supply and use tables from the national accounts providing the framework in which total transport activity can be calculated. This approach also allows for the calculation of major aggregates such as transport share of Gross Domestic Product and transport Gross Value Added. Data from Business Transport Activity, Australia (ABS Cat. No. 9269.0) is also incorporated into the ATEA to inform industry use of transport by mode, and transport specific use of fuel. The integration of these data sources involves the use of various methods and assumptions.

Due to the variety of data, assumptions and aggregations utilised in the ATEA compilation process, an assessment of accuracy is necessarily subjective. The ABS aims to achieve best practice in each of these facets. While the related concept of reliability can be objectively measured by an analysis of revisions, if an ATEA is produced again in the future, this does not necessarily indicate the quality of the data series.

While considerable care has been taken to ensure the quality of the estimates, users should exercise some caution in the use and interpretation of the results. As the data sources utilised the compilation of the ATEA feature differing coverage, concepts and timing, they also differ in respect of quality. As such, the accuracy of the estimates are subject to a higher degree of error than broader level estimates published in the national accounts.

For further information refer to the Quality of Estimates section of the Explanatory Notes.

Coherence

The coherence of data is an aspect of quality closely associated with accuracy, both within the national accounts system, and the partial indicators of the economy. A major unifying feature within the ASNA is the use of supply and use methodology to confront data and balance the components of GDP in annual terms.

In the compilation of the ATEA, supply and use tables have formed the basis for estimates of transport activity in the Australian economy. Supply and use data have been disaggregated and rearranged to focus on total transport activity within all industries in the economy. As such, the ATEA tables will reflect exactly the same measures of major national accounting aggregates such as total GVA and total GDP as the 2016-17 release of the Australian System of National Accounts (cat. no. 5204.0).

The ABS publishes a large amount of data on various aspects of the economy. As the majority of these are used in the national accounts, and the ATEA involves the use of supply and use tables that underlie the national accounts, it could be expected that there would be coherence between the ATEA, partial indicators data and the national accounts.

Interpretability

Significant analysis and commentary is provided in the ATEA publication to aid interpretation of the data. The Main Findings section uses commentary and graphs to guide reader understanding of the detailed data tables. The explanatory notes of the ATEA provide further guidance on the data; along with links to supporting publications for further information on concepts, methodologies and data sources.

Accessibility

For links to all transport related data and publications, recent changes and forthcoming events, relevant websites and a range of other information about the Australian Transport Economic Account, please see the Tourism and Transport Statistics page.

For more detailed information on the ATEA please see the Information Paper: A Future Australian Transport Satellite Account: ABS Views, 2011.

Abbreviations

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'000thousand
$bbillion dollars
$mmillion dollars
ABSAustralian Bureau of Statistics
ANZSICAustralian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification
ASNAAustralian System of National Accounts
ATEAAustralian Transport Economic Account
EASEconomic Activity Survey
GDPGross Domestic Product
GVAGross Value Added
NTRINon-Transport Related Inputs
OECDOrganisation of Economic Cooperation and Development
SNASystem of National Accounts
SUSupply-Use
SUPCSupply-Use Production Classification
TRITransport Related Inputs