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ABS launches big data-enabled spending indicator

February 23, 2022

ABS launches big data-enabled spending indicator

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has published new insights into the monthly spending habits of households, leveraging big data to provide unprecedented levels of detail.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has published new insights into the monthly spending habits of households, leveraging big data to provide unprecedented levels of detail.

The newly published Monthly Household Spending Indicator is the latest in a new series of experimental indicators first announced by the ABS in October 2021.

These indicators use massive data sets collected from various sources to provide more accurate and timely detail.

Jacqui Vitas, head of the ABS macroeconomic statistics division, said this latest publication “uses aggregated, de-identified bank transactions data to produce more frequent household spending insights”. 

“Household consumption contributes around 50% of Australia’s gross domestic product, so is a key component of the economy. 

“The new data will enable governments, researchers and businesses to identify shifts in spending behaviour by spending category and by state and territory.”

This new indicator serves to support existing expenditure prints, including the monthly Retail Trade Survey.

Monthly employee earnings and business turnover data publications are also now being prepared using the aid of big data, with Australian Tax Office Business Activity Statement (BAS) figures being used to inform the latter.

Statistician Dr David Gruen said using these data sets will allow the ABS to compile key statistics around business turnover “without placing any additional burden on businesses”.

Sources


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