5204.0 - Australian System of National Accounts, 2000-01  
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Actual consumption

To allow for the fact that the consumption of goods and services by households may be paid for, in cash or in kind, by the general government sector an alternative measure of consumption called actual consumption has been defined. It is measured by first separating government final consumption expenditure (GFCE) into individual and collective consumption. Individual consumption refers to services that are provided by general government to households which are consumed individually, for example health and education. Collective consumption, on the other hand, relates to the provision of public services such as policing and defence. Household actual consumption is measured as household final consumption expenditure plus individual consumption within GFCE. General government actual consumption is measured as GFCE less individual consumption. Actual consumption is a particularly useful measure for international comparison since countries often have different systems for providing individual services.

Adjusted disposable income

Consistent with the estimation of an alternative measure of consumption (see 'Actual consumption') an alternative measure of disposable income can also be measured. Adjusted household disposable income is measured by adding the value of individual consumption (recorded as transfers in kind on the income side of the account) to gross disposable income.

Agricultural income

The income accruing from agricultural production during the year. It is equal to gross agricultural product at factor cost less consumption of fixed capital, compensation of employees, and net rent and interest payments. The cash income for a year may be substantially different from this because of time lags in payments brought about by the special marketing arrangements for certain agricultural products. Some agricultural products are marketed through marketing boards, co-operatives and other bodies which act as agents for producers. These bodies hold, on the producers' behalf, large stocks of unsold produce for which, in some cases, advance payments are made in the year of delivery while the balance of the ultimate proceeds of sale, less charges, is paid in a subsequent year. Such differences between accrued and actual receipts of agricultural producers are reflected in the item increase in assets with marketing organisations which is a deduction made from agricultural income in order to represent more closely the flow of cash income realised by producers in each year. The amounts deducted are the estimated increases in liabilities of marketing organisations to producers. The marketing organisations for which the dates of delivery of primary produce, sale and payment to producers differ most significantly from each other are the Australian Wheat Board, the Australian Barley Board and wool selling brokers. The item is measured as the estimated gross selling value of products received by these organisations, plus subsidies, less taxes on production and imports, marketing costs and payments to producers. Any excess of accrued over actual receipts is included in the increase in assets with marketing organisations.

Agricultural production costs

Include all costs (other than compensation of employees and consumption of fixed capital) incurred in current production but exclude net rent and interest payable which are treated as appropriations out of operating surplus. In general, marketing costs are as shown in the statistical publication Value of Agricultural Commodities Produced, Australia (Cat. no. 7503.0) and represent the difference between the value at the farm or other place of production and at the wholesale markets. Other costs include taxes on production and imports, fertilisers, fuel, costs associated with inter-farm transfers of livestock and fodder, maintenance and other miscellaneous items.

Average compensation per employee

The average compensation per employee can be measured in a number of different ways. The series shown as a memorandum item in this publication is calculated as total compensation of employees divided by the number of wage and salary earners from the monthly Labour Force Survey.

Basic price

The amount receivable by the producer from the purchaser for a unit of a good or service produced as output minus any tax payable, and plus any subsidy receivable, on that unit as a consequence of its production or sale; it excludes any transport charges invoiced separately by the producer.

Capital account

Records the values of the non-financial assets that are acquired, or disposed of, by resident institutional units by engaging in transactions, and shows the change in net worth due to saving and capital transfers or internal bookkeeping transactions linked to production (changes in inventories and consumption of fixed capital).

Capital transfers

Transactions in which the ownership of an asset (other than cash and inventories) is transferred from one institutional unit to another, in which cash is transferred to enable the recipient to acquire another asset or in which the funds realised by the disposal of another asset are transferred. Examples include general government capital transfers to private schools for the construction of science blocks or libraries and transfers to charitable organisations for the construction of homes for the aged.

Capital productivity

See 'Productivity estimates'

Chain price indexes

In this publication are obtained by first weighting together elemental price indexes from the previous financial year to the current financial year, where the weights are calculated using expenditure shares of the previous financial year. Second, the resulting aggregate year-to-year price indexes are linked (compounded) together to form a time series. Third, the time series is referenced to 100.00 in the reference year.

Chain volume measure

For certain types of economic analysis it is useful to examine estimates of the principal flows of goods and services in the economy revalued in such a way as to remove the direct effects of changes in their prices over the period under review. Such estimates are conventionally described as ‘real’. This publication shows chain volume measures for GDP and other aggregates. These are obtained by first weighting together elemental volume indexes from the previous financial year to the current financial year, where the weights are calculated using the current price value shares of the previous financial year. Second, the resulting aggregate year-to-year volume indexes are linked (compounded) together to form a time series. Third, the time series is referenced to the current price estimates of the reference year.

Changes in inventories

The change in inventories held by enterprises and general government. The change in inventories is obtained after adjusting the increase in book value of inventories by the inventory valuation adjustment. The need for an inventory valuation adjustment arises because the changes in the value of inventories as calculated from existing business accounting records do not meet national accounting requirements. For national accounting purposes, physical changes in inventories should be valued at the prices current at the times when the changes occur. The inventory valuation adjustment is the difference between the change in (book) value of inventories and the physical changes valued at current prices. The physical changes at average current quarter prices are calculated by applying average quarterly price indexes to the changes in various categories of inventories in volume terms.

Consumption of fixed capital

Is the value, at current market prices, of the reproducible fixed assets used up during a period of account as a result of normal wear and tear, foreseen obsolescence and the normal rate of accidental damage. Unforeseen obsolescence, major catastrophes and the depletion of natural resources are not taken into account.

Current transfers

Transactions, other than those classified as capital transfers, in which one institutional unit provides a good, service or cash to another unit without receiving from the latter anything of economic value in return.

Current transfers to non-profit institutions

Transfers for non-capital purposes to private non-profit institutions serving households such as hospitals, independent schools, and religious and charitable organisations.

Current taxes on income, wealth, etc.

Include taxes on the incomes of households or the profits of corporations and taxes on wealth that are payable regularly every tax assessment period (as distinct from capital taxes that are levied infrequently).

Dividends from public corporations

Comprises that part of the net income of public corporations (financial and non-financial) which is paid to general government whether described by the corporations as dividends or transfer of profits. Income tax and other forms of taxation are excluded. Public corporation net income is derived by deducting consumption of fixed capital, interest payable and working expenses from interest receivable and charges for goods and services.

Employers’ social contributions

Payments by employers which are intended to secure for their employees the entitlement to social benefits should certain events occur, or certain circumstances exist, that may adversely affect their employees’ income or welfare-namely work-related accidents and retirement.

Exports of goods and services

The value of goods exported and amounts receivable from non-residents for the provision of services by residents.

Final consumption expenditure-general government

Net expenditure on goods and services by public authorities, other than those classified as public corporations, which does not result in the creation of fixed assets or inventories or in the acquisition of land and existing buildings or second-hand assets. It comprises expenditure on compensation of employees (other than those charged to capital works, etc.), goods and services (other than fixed assets and inventories) and consumption of fixed capital. Expenditure on repair and maintenance of roads is included. Fees, etc., charged by general government bodies for goods sold and services rendered are offset against purchases. Net expenditure overseas by general government bodies and purchases from public corporations are included. Expenditure on defence assets that are used in a fashion similar to civilian assets is classified as gross fixed capital formation; expenditure on weapons of destruction and weapon delivery systems is classified as final consumption expenditure.

Final consumption expenditure-households

Net expenditure on goods and services by persons and expenditure of a current nature by private non-profit institutions serving households. This item excludes expenditures by unincorporated businesses and expenditures on assets by non-profit institutions (included in gross fixed capital formation). Also excluded are maintenance of dwellings (treated as intermediate expenses of private enterprises), but personal expenditure on motor vehicles and other durable goods and the imputed rent of owner-occupied dwellings are excluded. The value of 'backyard' production (including food produced and consumed on farms) is included in household final consumption expenditure and the payment of wages and salaries in kind (e.g. food and lodging supplied free to employees) is counted in both household income and household final consumption expenditure.

Financial account

Records the net acquisition of financial assets and net incurrence of liabilities for all institutional sectors by type of financial asset.

Gross disposable income - households

Gross household income less income tax payable, other current taxes in income, wealth etc., consumer debt interest, interest payable by unincorporated enterprises, net non-life insurance premiums and other current transfers payable by households.

Gross domestic income

Is equal to the chain volume estimate of gross domestic product adjusted for changes in Australia's terms of trade.

Gross domestic product (GDP)

Is the total market value of goods and services produced in Australia within a given period after deducting the cost of goods and services used up in the process of production but before deducting allowances for the consumption of fixed capital. Thus gross domestic product, as here defined, is ‘at market prices’. It is equivalent to gross national expenditure plus exports of goods and services less imports of goods and services. Gross farm product is that part of gross domestic product which derives from production in agriculture and services to agriculture. Gross non-farm product arises from production in all other industries.

Gross entrepreneurial income

The gross entrepreneurial income for a corporation, quasi-corporation, or institutional unit owning an unincorporated enterprise engaged in market production is defined as its gross operating surplus or gross mixed income, plus property income receivable on the financial or non-financial assets owned by the enterprise, less interest payable on the liabilities of the enterprise and rents payable on land or other tangible non-produced assets rented by the enterprise. See gross operating surplus, gross mixed income.

Gross fixed capital formation - general government

Expenditure on new fixed assets plus net expenditure on second-hand fixed assets whether for additions or replacements (other than weapons of destruction and weapon delivery systems). Expenditure on new roadworks (or upgrading existing roads) is included but expenditure on road repair and maintenance is classified as government final consumption expenditure.

Gross fixed capital formation - private

Expenditure on fixed assets broken down into dwellings, other buildings and structures, machinery and equipment, livestock, intangible fixed assets and ownership transfer costs. The machinery and equipment category includes plant, machinery, equipment, vehicles, etc. Expenditure on repair and maintenance of fixed assets is excluded, being chargeable to the production account. Additions to fixed assets are regarded as capital formation. Also included is compensation of employees and other costs paid by private enterprise in connection with own-account capital formation. Expenditure on dwellings, other buildings and structures, and machinery and equipment is measured as expenditure on new and second-hand assets, less sales of existing assets. Ownership transfer costs comprise stamp duty, real estate agents' fees and sales commissions, conveyancing fees and miscellaneous government charges.

Gross fixed capital formation - public corporations

Expenditure on new fixed assets plus net expenditure on second-hand fixed assets and including both additions and replacements. Also included is compensation of employees paid by public corporations in connection with capital works undertaken on own account.

Gross income - households

The total income, whether in cash or kind, receivable by persons normally resident in Australia. It includes both income in return for productive activity (such as compensation of employees, the gross mixed income of unincorporated enterprises, gross operating surplus on dwellings owned by persons, and property income receivable, etc.) and transfers receivable (such as social assistance benefits and non-life insurance claims).

Gross mixed income of unincorporated enterprises

The surplus or deficit accruing from production by unincorporated enterprises. It includes elements of both compensation of employees (returns on labour inputs) and operating surplus (returns on capital inputs).

Gross operating surplus

The operating surplus, before deduction of consumption of fixed capital, dividends, interest, royalties and land rent, and direct taxes payable, but after deducting the inventory valuation adjustment, of all enterprises from operations in Australia. It is the excess of gross output over the sum of intermediate consumption, compensation of employees, and taxes less subsidies on production and imports. Gross operating surplus is also calculated for general government, and it equals general government's consumption of fixed capital.

Gross national expenditure

The total expenditure within a given period by Australian residents on final goods and services (i.e. excluding goods and services used up during the period in the process of production). It is equivalent to gross domestic product plus imports of goods and services less exports of goods and services.

Gross national income (GNI)

The aggregate value of gross primary incomes for all institutional sectors, including net primary income receivable from non-residents. GNI was formerly called gross national product (GNP).

Gross national disposable income

Is equivalent to gross national income plus all secondary income in cash or in kind receivable by resident institutional units from the rest of the world, less all secondary income in cash or in kind payable by resident institutional units to the rest of the world.

Implicit price deflator

This is obtained by dividing a current price value by its real counterpart (the chain volume measure). When calculated from the major national accounting aggregates, such as gross domestic product, implicit price deflators relate to a broader range of goods and services in the economy than that represented by any of the individual price indexes that are published by the ABS. Whereas the chain price indexes are chain Laspeyres indexes, the annual implicit price deflators are chain Paasche price indexes, i.e. each year-to-year movement is calculated using the current price value shares of the second of the two years to weight together the elemental price indexes.

Imports of goods and services

The value of goods imported and amounts payable to non-residents for the provision of services to residents.

Institutional unit

An institutional unit is an economic entity that is capable, in its own right, of owning assets, incurring liabilities, engaging in economic activities and engaging in transactions with other entities.

Intangible fixed assets

Includes such assets as computer software, entertainment, literary or artistic originals, and mineral exploration intended to be used for more than a year.

Intangible non-produced assets

Includes such as assets as purchased goodwill, 3G spectrum licences, patented entities and leases on land and sub-soil assets. Estimation of these assets is in its infancy. Currently only the value of 3G spectrum licences is included in the national and sector balance sheets.

Intermediate consumption

Consists of the value of the goods and services consumed as inputs by a process of production, excluding the consumption of fixed capital.


Consist of stocks of outputs that are held at the end of a period by the units that produced them prior to their being further processed, sold, delivered to other units or used in other ways and stocks of products acquired from other units that are intended to be used for intermediate consumption or for resale without further processing.

Labour productivity estimates

See 'Productivity estimates'


Livestock assets are classified as either fixed assets or inventories. Those livestock which are used in production of other products (e.g. breeding stock, animals for entertainment, sheep for wool and dairy cattle) are fixed assets. Inventories cover all other livestock types and includes those animals raised for meat or other one-off products (e.g. leather).

Machinery and equipment

Consists of transport equipment, computing equipment and other machinery and equipment other than that acquired by households for final consumption.

Multifactor productivity

See 'Productivity estimates'

National lending

See 'Net lending to non-residents'

National saving

Calculated as the sum of the net saving of each of the resident sectors -households and unicorporated enterprises, non-financial corporations, financial corporations and general government. Also referred to as net saving.

Net lending to non-residents

The excess of net acquisition of financial assets in the rest of the world by resident institutional units over their net incurrence of liabilities in the rest of the world. Also referred to as National lending

Net saving - corporations

Is equal to the gross income receivable by corporations less income payable and consumption of fixed capital. Income receivable by corporations includes gross operating surplus, property income and current transfers receivable. Income payable includes property income and current transfers (including income taxes) payable.

Net saving - general government

The surplus of general government gross income over current use of income. Current use of income includes final consumption expenditure and current transfers (interest and other property income payable, social assistance benefits payments to residents, transfers to non-profit institutions, subsidies, etc.).

Net saving - households

Is equal to gross household disposable income less household final consumption expenditure and consumption of fixed capital. Household saving is estimated as the balancing item in the households income account. It includes saving through life insurance and superannuation funds (including net earnings on these funds), increased equity in unfunded superannuation schemes and the increase in farm assets with marketing boards.

Net secondary income from non-residents

All transfers to or from non-residents to resident government or private institutional units which are not payments for goods and services, compensation of employees or property income.

Net worth

In the national and sectoral balance sheets, net worth represents the difference between the stock of assets (both financial and non-financial) and the stock of liabilities (including shares and other equity). Because it is derived residually, it can be negative.

Primary incomes

Consist of incomes that accrue to institutional units as a consequence of their involvement in processes of production or their ownership of assets that may be needed for the purposes of production.

Productivity estimates

A number of productivity measures are included in this publication.

  • Capital productivity estimates are indexes of real GDP per unit of capital services used in production. They have been derived by dividing the index of the chain volume measure of GDP by an index of capital services. The capital productivity indexes reflect not only the contribution of capital to changes in production, but also the contribution by labour and other factors affecting production.
  • Labour productivity estimates are indexes of real GDP per person employed or per hour worked. They have been derived by dividing the chain volume measure of GDP by employment (or hours worked). Labour productivity indexes not only reflect the contribution of labour to changes in product per labour unit, but are also influenced by the contribution of capital and other factors affecting production.
  • Multifactor productivity estimates are indexes of real GDP per combined unit of labour and capital.

For a short description of how these estimates are derived, along with a similar description of the closely related capital stock estimates, the reader should consult the feature article Upgrade of Capital Stock and Multifactor Productivity Estimates on page 8 of the 1997-98 issue of this publication. For a more comprehensive description the reader should refer to Chapter 27 of Australian National Accounts: Concepts, Sources and Methods (Cat. no. 5216.0).

Property income

Is the income receivable by the owner of a financial asset or a tangible non-produced asset in return for providing funds, or putting a tangible non-produced asset at the disposal of another institutional unit.

Secondary income

Consists of receipt and payment of current transfers.

Social assistance benefits in cash to residents

Includes current transfers to persons from general government in return for which no services are rendered or goods supplied. Principal components include: scholarships; maternity, sickness and unemployment benefits; child endowment and family allowances; and widows', age, invalid and repatriation pensions.

Statistical discrepancy (I), (E) and (P)

For years in which a balanced supply and use table is available to benchmark the national accounts, the same measure of GDP is obtained regardless of whether one sums incomes, expenditures or industry products. For other years, however, statistical discrepancies between the measures remain. The differences between those three separate estimates and the single measure of GDP for those years are called statistical discrepancy (I), statistical discrepancy (E) and statistical discrepancy (P) respectively.

Taxes less subsidies on production and imports

Taxes on production are taxes assessed on producers, i.e. enterprises and general government, in respect of the production, sale, purchase or use of goods and services, which are charged to the expenses of production. Subsidies consist of all transfers made by general government to enterprises which are credited to their production accounts. These grants may take the form of bounties on goods produced or inputs used, payments to ensure a guaranteed price or to enable maintenance of prices of goods or services below cost of production, and other forms of assistance to producers. Also included as subsidies are the amounts paid to the Australian Wheat Board under Section 46 of the Wheat Marketing Act 1979, to offset the additional cost of borrowing commercially rather than from the Reserve Bank of Australia. Payments to public trading corporations to compensate for recurring losses are included; however payments to public trading corporations to compensate for non-recurring losses are not included.

Terms of trade

The relationship between export and import prices. In this publication, Australia's terms of trade are calculated by dividing the export implicit price deflator by the import implicit price deflator.

Total agricultural factor income

That part of total factor incomes arising from production in agriculture and services to agriculture and is equal to the estimated gross value of production (after the inventory valuation adjustment) less estimated production costs other than compensation of employees and consumption of fixed capital for all enterprises engaged in agriculture and services to agriculture. It includes agricultural output produced by the household sector for its own consumption.

Total factor income

That part of the cost of producing the gross domestic product which consists of gross payments to factors of production (labour and capital). It represents the value added by these factors in the process of production and is equivalent to gross domestic product less taxes plus subsidies on production and imports.