5204.0.55.014 - Information Paper: Australian National Accounts, Supply Use Tables, 2018  
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INFORMATION PAPER: AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL ACCOUNTS, SUPPLY USE TABLES

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) will release the time series of annual current price supply-use tables from 1994-95 to 2016-17 on 12 December 2018.

Supply-use 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.

These tables will be a new, ABS supplemental product that augments national accounts statistics. They will make available, for the first time, a time series perspective for products in terms of domestic output and imports, and the uses of products for intermediate consumption, final consumption, gross capital formation, change in inventories and exports. These tables can be used to better understand changes in the structure of the economy over time.

In advance of the release, this information paper provides an overview of the supply-use tables.


USES OF SUPPLY-USE TABLES

Supply-use tables are a powerful tool to compare data from different sources and improve the coherence of the Australian macroeconomic accounts. They enable analyses of products and industries and allow productivity to be compiled at various levels of disaggregation. The supply-use tables allow economists and others to examine the internal workings of the Australian economy, in particular detailing the contribution of specific industries and products to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). These statistics measure and analyse the production of products by industry, detailing the flows of products purchased by each industry, the distribution of sales for each product, and the incomes earned from production in each industry.

They were introduced in the annual national accounts in 1998, as an integral part of the annual compilation of 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.

Supply-use tables stand alone as an essential source for detailed information on economic processes and relationships, and they are the foundation on which all satellite accounts rely. They also serve as a starting point for the estimation process with adjustments, additions, and other transformations to translate these tables into the input-output tables.


SUPPLY-USE FRAMEWORK

Supply-use tables reconcile how the supply of products (either by domestic production or imports) within the economy in an accounting period are used for intermediate consumption, final consumption, capital formation, change in inventories or exports.

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 shows Supply-Use Tables - Framework for the Economy

SUPPLY TABLE

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.


USE TABLE

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, including 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).

For further information on the framework, data sources and methods of supply-use tables, see Australian System of National Accounts: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 5216.0).


SUPPLY USE TABLE CLASSIFICATION AND PUBLICATION FORMAT

Supply-use tables are available at the level of 67 industries and 114 product groups based on specifically developed product and industry classifications. These Supply-Use Classifications are provided in Appendix A.

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 (cat. no. 5209.0.55.001).

The Supply-Use Industry Classification (SUIC) disaggregates the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification, 2006 (cat. no. 1292.0) (ANZSIC06), in which the first two digits of the SUIC typically refer to the ANZSIC06 subdivision to which the product is primary.

In the first release of the supply-use tables on 12 December 2018, the ABS will provide annual estimates in current price terms from 1994-95 to 2016-17. The tables will be in a data cube format, containing 67 industries by 114 product groups. The latest year of the supply-use tables (2016-17) will also be provided in spreadsheet format as a supply table and a use table. Data in the format of the data cube and spreadsheets will be available for download on the ABS website <http://www.abs.gov.au>.


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.


SUMMARY

The release of the new ABS supply-use tables marks the latest step in an ongoing effort to modernise and to augment national accounts statistics. These improvements have included incorporating new methodologies, concepts and classifications and the latest data sources in the compilation of the national accounts. Specific details of these changes are outlined in the Information Paper: Changes to the 2016-17 release of the Australian System of National Accounts (cat. no. 5204.0.55.012).

User and stakeholder comments and feedback relating to the upcoming release of the supply-use tables are welcome. Please contact national.accounts@abs.gov.au or alternately contact Ms Khanh Hoang, Director of National Accounts Benchmarks Section by email <khanh.hoang@abs.gov.au>. The deadline for feedback will be Friday, 26 October 2018.