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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 2. Summary Measures of Economic Activity >> Government Financial Statistics

In 2000-01, the Government Financial Statistics (GFS) Net Operating Balance for the consolidated public sector for all Australian governments combined was $10,983m and GFS Net Lending was $6,496m.

The total public sector surplus for all Australian governments combined was $10,132m. The main contributors to this result were net cash inflows from operating activities of $31,774m being partly offset by net cash outflows from investments in non-financial assets of $20,410m.

GFS net worth reflects the contribution of governments to the wealth of Australia. The consolidated net worth for all Australian governments combined, as at 30 June 2001, was $331,784m.

Key GFS aggregates for the public sector for 2000-01 are provided in the following table:


GOVERNMENT FINANCE STATISTICS
Commonwealth
Multi-jurisdictional(a)
State
Local
All Australian governments(b)
Particulars
$m
$m
$m
$m
$m

OPERATING STATEMENT
GFS Revenue
209,998
9,683
130,879
16,930
310,671
GFS Expenses
203,002
9,330
127,757
15,724
299,688
GFS Net Operating Balance
6,996
353
3,122
1,206
10,983
Net Acquisition of non-Financial Assets
-143
326
3,247
1,026
4,487
GFS Net Lending(+)/Borrowing(-)
7,140
27
-125
180
6,496
CASH FLOW STATEMENT
Net cash flows from operating activities
10,807
1,001
15,840
3,970
31,774
Net cash flows from investments in non-financial assets
-3,322
-965
-12,301
-3,832
-20,410
Net cash flows from investments in financial assets for policy purposes
5,839
-2
2,004
16
7,311
Net cash flows from investments in financial assets for liquidity purposes
-12,447
-16
-4,643
-88
-17,537
Net cash flows from financing activities
-3,137
48
-3,796
-107
-6,283
Net Increase(+)/Decrease(-) in Cash Held
-2,260
66
-2,895
-42
-5,145
Surplus(+)/Deficit(-)(c)
6,269
34
3,532
131
10,132
BALANCE SHEET
Assets
207,628
25,059
437,400
156,686
813,876
Liabilities
264,409
5,133
179,379
9,088
445,159
Shares and other contributed capital
36,940
-
-
40
36,932
GFS Net Worth
-93,722
19,926
258,022
147,558
331,784
Net debt(d)
37,972
-4,048
16,117
-903
49,137

(a) The multi-jurisdictional sector contains units where jurisdiction is shared between two or more governments, or classification of a unit to a jurisdiction is otherwise unclear. The main type of units currently falling into this category are the public universities.
(b) The sums of individual levels of government may not agree with total figures for all Australian governments due to transfers between levels of government.
(c) Equals Net cash flows from operating activities and investments in non-financial assets less Distributions paid less Acquisitions of assets under finance leases and similar arrangements.
(d) Equals deposits held, advances received, Reserve Bank notes on issue and borrowing less cash and deposits, advances paid, and investments, loans and placements.

Source: Government Finance Statistics, Australia, 2000-01 (5512.0).

Explanatory Notes

The system of GFS is designed to provide statistical information on public sector entities in Australia classified in a uniform and systematic way. GFS enables policy makers and other users to analyse the financial operations and the financial position of the public sector at either the level of a specific government, sector, or a particular set of transactions. The system is based on international standards set out in the System of National Accounts 1993 (SNA93) and the International Monetary Fund's A Manual of Government Finance Statistics.

The GFS conceptual framework is divided into a number of separate statements, each of which is designed to draw out analytical aggregates or balances of particular economic significance and which, taken together, provide for a thorough understanding of the financial positions of jurisdictions individually and collectively. These published statements are the Operating Statement, the Cash Flow Statement, and the Balance Sheet.

The Operating Statement presents details of transactions in GFS revenues, GFS expenses and the net acquisition of non-financial assets for an accounting period. GFS revenues are broadly defined as transactions that increase net worth and GFS expenses as transactions that decrease net worth. Net acquisition of non-financial assets equals gross fixed capital formation, less depreciation, plus changes in inventories and plus other transactions in non-financial assets. Two key GFS analytical balances in the operating statement are GFS Net Operating Balance (NOB) and GFS Net Lending(+)/Borrowing(-).

GFS NOB is the difference between GFS revenues and GFS expenses and a positive balance means that revenue exceeds expenses. It reflects the sustainability of government operations. GFS Net Lending(+)/Borrowing(-) represents the government's call on the financial sector and reflects the economic impact of government operations. It is equal to NOB minus the total net acquisition of non-financial assets. A positive result reflects a net lending position while a negative result reflects a net borrowing position.

The Cash Flow Statement identifies how cash is generated and applied in a single accounting period. 'Cash' means cash on hand (notes and coins held and deposits held at call with a bank or other financial institution) and cash equivalents (highly liquid investments which are readily convertible to cash on hand at the investor's option and overdrafts considered integral to the cash management function).

The Cash Flow Statement reflects a cash basis of recording (the other statements are on an accruals accounting basis) where the information has been derived indirectly from underlying accrued transactions and movements in balances. This, in effect, means that transactions are captured when cash is received or when cash payments are made. Cash transactions are specially identified because they allow the compilation of the cash-based Surplus(+)/Deficit(-) measure and because the management of cash is often considered an integral function of accrual accounting.

The Surplus(+)/Deficit(-) is a broad indicator of a sector's cash flow requirements. When it is positive (i.e. in surplus), it reflects the extent to which cash is available to government to either increase its financial assets or decrease its liabilities (assuming that no revaluations and other changes occur). When it is negative (i.e. in deficit), it is a measure of the extent to which government requires cash, either by running down its financial assets or by drawing on the cash reserves of the domestic economy, or from overseas borrowing.

The Balance Sheet is the statement of an entity's financial position at a specific point in time. It shows the entity's stock of assets, liabilities and GFS Net Worth. GFS Net Worth is an economic measure of 'wealth' calculated as assets less liabilities for the general government sector and as assets less liabilities less shares and other contributed capital for the public non-financial corporations and public financial corporations sectors.

Further Reading

Information Paper: Accruals-based Government Finance Statistics (5517.0)
This ABS paper outlines the GFS conceptual framework (including the analytical balances), the format for GFS tables, and the relationship between GFS, accrual accounting and Australian System of National Accounts reports.


Government Finance Statistics, Australia (5512.0)
Contains final annual data on the financial transactions for the general government, public non-financial corporations, financial corporations and total public sectors of each level of government and consolidated statistics for total State, total State and local, and all Australian governments.


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