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1360.0 - Measuring Australia's Economy, 2003  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/02/2003   
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Contents >> Section 3. International Accounts and Trade >> Composition of Net Foreign Debt

At 30 June 2002, net foreign debt of the public sector was $12.1b (4% of total net foreign debt) and net foreign debt of the private sector was $317.6b (96% of total net foreign debt). Much of the public sector debt consists of domestically issued government securities in which non-residents choose to invest. At 30 June 2002, non-residents held $24.4b in domestically issued Australian government securities. Over the period 1996-97 to 2001-02 net foreign debt of the public sector has fallen (from $65.2b at 30 June 1997 to $12.1b at 30 June 2002). Conversely net foreign debt of the private sector has more than doubled (from $143.4b to $317.6b).



LEVELS OF FOREIGN DEBT AT END OF PERIOD
Period
Public sector debt

$m
Private sector debt

$m
Net foreign debt(a)

$m

ANNUAL
1996–1997
65,231
143,398
208,628
1997–1998
45,392
182,390
227,782
1998–1999
34,509
196,179
230,689
1999–2000
18,569
259,235
277,804
2000-2001
5,599
307,872
313,472
2001-2002
12,147
317,617
329,763

QUARTERLY
2000-2001
March
6,731
324,464
331,195
June
5,599
307,872
313,472
2001-2002
September
6,567
316,442
323,009
December
10,783
310,494
321,277
March
17,479
309,954
327,433
June
12,147
317,617
329,763

(a) Equals debt liabilities less reserve assets and other debt assets.

Source: Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia (5302.0).


Explanatory Notes

Australia's net foreign debt includes debt incurred by both the private and public sectors.

Net public sector debt is the gross debt of Commonwealth, State and Local governments (general government) and government business enterprises (including financial corporations) less reserve assets and other foreign debt assets held by these resident entities.

Statistics on the composition of foreign debt are used to analyse the nature of Australia's foreign debt. For example, having debt concentrated in the private sector is considered by many as more desirable than having it issued by the public sector, since it is assumed that the private sector is more likely to borrow to finance investment rather than consumption. However, a comprehensive analysis of the financial position of the two sectors should also consider their domestic assets and liabilities as well as those with non-residents.

The composition of foreign debt may also be examined by industry, country, currency and maturity structure.

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