The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is reinstating the full monthly sample for the retail business survey.

According to statistician Brian Pink 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,” he said in a statement.

“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.”

The reduction in the survey sample was part of a set of program cuts in the ABS’ budget for 2008-09. The ABS said it 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.

Results from the reinstated sample are expected to be available early in 2009.