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5204.0 - Australian System of National Accounts, 2005-06  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 01/11/2006   
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INTERNATIONAL TRADE


The growing importance of international trade to the Australian economy is illustrated by the following graph which shows the ratios of exports and imports of goods and services to GDP in current prices since 1959-60. In 2005-06 the imports ratio was 21.8% and the exports ratio was 20.3%. Since 2000-01 imports increased 55.6% in volume terms compared to 6.0% growth in exports.

Exports and Imports, relative to GDP
Graph: Exports and Imports, relative to GDP
View underlying data tables as an Lotus 123 File: 5204.0 Table 5. EXPENDITURE ON GDP, Current prices, 29Kb
(Help: Lotus 123)


While in volume terms Imports have been growing faster than Exports, the price received for exports has been growing faster than the growth in Import prices. The Terms of trade represents the relationship between the prices of exports and imports. An increase (decrease) in the Terms of trade reflects Export prices increasing (decreasing) at a faster rate than Import prices.


The strong growth in the Terms of trade over the past five years reflected a 17.5% growth in Export prices and fall in Import prices of 11.5% over the period. 2005-06 saw a 10.8% increase in the Terms of trade index to a record high since 1959-60. See Prices in the National Accounts for more details on Export and Import prices.

Terms of trade, (2004-05 = 100.0)
Graph: Terms of trade, (2004–05 = 100.0)
View underlying data tables as an Lotus 123 File: 5204.0 Table 1. KEY NATIONAL ACCOUNTS AGGREGATES, 23Kb
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Lotus 123)


Net exports represent the difference between Exports and Imports. Net exports detract from GDP growth when the change in the volume of Imports has been greater than the change in the volume of Exports. Since 2001-02 Net exports have detracted around 9.6 percentage points from GDP growth in most part from increasing Imports.


Since 2002-03 when the contribution of Net exports to GDP growth was -2.2 percentage points the contribution of Net exports has been slowly trending upwards reaching -1.1 percentage points in 2005-06.

Net Exports Contribution to growth, Chain volume measures
Graph: Net Exports Contribution to growth, Chain volume measures

View underlying data tables as an Lotus 123 File:
5204.0 Table 4. EXPENDITURE ON GDP, Chain volume measures - Contributions to growth, 33Kb
(Help: Lotus 123)


In addition to the trade in goods and services, the flow of funds between Australia and overseas is an important component of the relationship with the rest of the world. Australia has generally been a net borrower of funds from overseas. In the national accounts, this situation is reflected by a negative value for net lending to non-residents. The only exception to this pattern was in 1972-73. The ratio of net borrowing from overseas to GDP in 2005-06 was 5.3%, down from 6.1% in 2004-05.

Net Lending to Overseas, relative to GDP
Graph: Net Lending to Overseas, relative to GDP
View underlying data tables as an Lotus 123 File: 5204.0 Table 54. EXTERNAL ACCOUNTS, Current prices, 22Kb
(Help: Lotus 123)

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