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Reinstatement of full monthly Retail trade sample (Media Release)
 
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MEDIA RELEASE
November 5, 2008
Embargoed: 11.30 am (AEDT)
105/2008

Reinstatement of full monthly Retail trade sample

The Australian Statistician, Brian Pink announced today that the ABS will reinstate the full monthly sample for the Retail Business Survey.

The Statistician recognised that global developments over recent months had heightened public interest in government action to support the economy and consequently, there was closer scrutiny of economic data. In addition, key macroeconomic statistics users had indicated that more robust monthly retail trade data are their top priority at this time for improved economic statistics.

Whilst month-on-month changes in retail sales are difficult to measure reliably, even with the best of survey designs and robust samples, reinstating the full monthly sample will reduce some of that uncertainty.

At this stage it is expected that results from the reinstated sample will be available early in 2009.

The reduction in the Retail Business Survey sample was part of a set of program cuts made to enable the ABS to balance its budget for 2008-09. The ABS will face extra costs as a result of this decision, but will not make offsetting cuts in other parts of its statistical work program this year. The future ABS budget is currently being reviewed with the Department of Finance and Deregulation and the future ABS work programs will be framed within the resulting budget allocations and in consultation with users.

Further information about the reinstatement of full monthly Retail trade sample will be included in the Retail trade publications:
    • Retail Trade Trends, Australia (cat. no. 8501.0) which is next due for release on 2 December
    • Retail Trade Quarterly Indicators, Australia (cat. no 8502.0) which is next due for release on 17 November.

If you have any queries please contact Geoff Neideck on (02) 6252 6038.

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