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Tuesday, 8 November 1977
Page: 3097

Mr Hurford asked the Treasurer, upon notice, on 23 March 1977:

(   1 ) Did he confirm in his reply to a question without notice from the member for Grayndler on IS March 1977 that the January figures for industrial production displayed falls in production outnumbering rises by almost 3 to 1.

(2)   Did he say that he had been informed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics that there were problems with seasonal adjustment of the January figures and the Bureau made comment of this fact in the January document.

(3)   If so, is it a fact that in the recent January document there is no note from the Bureau regarding seasonal adjustment.

(4)   Is the factor, allegedly making seasonal adjustments in January more complicated, such that it would still permit comparisons between January of one year and that of the next

(5)   If so, is it a fact that, on this basis, comparisons between production levels in January 1976 and January 1977 are appropriate.

(6   ) If so, what is the explanation for his statement outlined in part (2)

(7)   Do comparisons between production levels in January 1976 and January 1977 suggest that, in the last 12 months, more items have had a fall in production than have had a rise.

Mr Lynch - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:


The Statistician has advised that when the preliminary January production statistics were released, the seasonal adjustment factors being used did not properly reflect the introduction of an extra week's annual leave in January 1975. Those originally published seasonally adjusted production figures for January 1977 have since been revised. The new figures provide a better indication of production of the published items because they have been calculated following an annual re-analysis of the data on which the seasonally adjusted series are based. The re-analysis takes into account aU recent apparent changes in the pattern of production including the changes caused by the general introduction of an extra week's leave in January 197S.

The revised estimates show that production of IS, not 8 as originally estimated, of the 32 items for which seasonally adjusted figures are available rose in January 1977. For the same number, production was higher in January 1977 than in January 1976.

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