What does `seasonally adjusted’ mean?

Why is housing data reported differently in terms of `original’, `trend estimate’ or `seasonally adjusted’ figures?

Which should we pay attention to?
According to definitions offered by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, that probably just depends on what you want to see.
`Original’ means that very little has been done to the data. It is raw data, straight from the survey and shows all the ups and downs of the data being measured. For instance, there will invariably be a spike in retail sales in December each year, due to increased spending for Christmas.
`Seasonal adjustment’ allows for and removes the regular, recurring influences that could distort the short-term view of what is happening. That means the December spike in retail spending is smoothed out.
A `trend estimate’ has not only had its seasonal factors allowed for, but it has also had effects from once-off or irregular events removed, so that the data is not thrown off by what are essentially random events. ¬†For example, the Sydney Olympics distorted the ABS statistics on non-residential building approvals for that year.

Trends are usually referred to in terms of direction, for example whether the long-term pattern of behaviour is showing an increase or a decrease.

About Port Douglas

Port Douglas real estate - Real estate in Port Douglas is now sought after the world over. Our passion for where we live stems from Port Douglas being the only place in the world where two natural, world heritage listed sites (the Great Barrier Reef & Daintree Rainforest) exist side by side. If you would like buy or live in your own piece of paradise, please browse our real estate listings http://www.realestateportdouglas.com.au The views expressed in the Port Douglas blogs are not those of Century 21 Port Douglas Real Estate nor the Century 21 franchise.
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