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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2007  
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Contents >> National Accounts >> National balance sheet

NATIONAL BALANCE SHEET

The national balance sheet provides estimates of the value of Australia's produced, non-produced and financial assets, its liabilities to the rest of the world, and the net worth (defined as the difference between total assets and liabilities, including the value of equity in Australian enterprises owned by non-residents) of the total economy. The major national and sectoral balance sheet tables are published in Australian System of National Accounts (5204.0). Balance sheets are provided for each of the four domestic sectors: non-financial corporations, financial corporations, general government and households (including unincorporated enterprises and non-profit institutions serving households).

The non-produced assets included in the balance sheet cover experimental estimates of the value of some of Australia's natural resources: subsoil assets, timber available for log production and land. The monetary estimates of natural resources contained in the balance sheet are underpinned by physical estimates of particular natural resources. Further, since valuation of natural resources is a difficult and contentious undertaking, the monetary estimates of these natural resources should be considered in conjunction with the physical estimates.

The natural resource estimates are used to monitor the availability and exploitation of these resources and to assist in the formulation of environmental policies. More generally, data on the level, composition and change in assets and liabilities shown in the balance sheet indicate the extent of economic resources available to, and claims on, a nation and each of its institutional sectors.

Sectoral balance sheets provide information necessary for analysing a number of topics; for example, the estimation of household liquidity; and the computation of widely used ratios, such as assets to liabilities, net worth to total liabilities, non-financial to financial assets, and debt to income. In a period of concern about the level of saving in Australia, national and sector balance sheets provide additional information on the relationships between consumption, saving and wealth accumulation.

REAL/VOLUME BALANCE SHEETS

An article introducing experimental real/volume balance sheets for Australia was published in the March quarter 2001 issue of Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product (5206.0). The real/volume balance sheet is designed to remove the effect of price changes, in much the same way as for other real and volume estimates, and allow for comparisons of changes in the value of Australia's assets and liabilities over time, free of the direct effects of inflation.

Volume estimates for the major categories of fixed asset stocks described as 'produced assets' - such as dwellings, non-dwelling construction, and machinery and equipment - have been available for many years in the Australian national accounts. However, volume estimates for stocks of non-produced, non-financial assets (land and other natural resources, etc.) and real estimates of financial assets, liabilities and net worth (wealth) have only recently become available. The calculation of volume and real estimates for some of these components is subject to some practical and conceptual difficulties, and therefore the term 'experimental' has been attached to these initial estimates.

The values of non-financial assets, such as dwellings, equipment and standing timber, can be decomposed into prices and volumes. Volume indexes, which measure the volume change of an aggregate between one period and another, can thus be derived by holding prices the same in the two periods.

Financial assets and liabilities cannot be decomposed into prices and volumes, and so it is impossible to derive volume indexes for them. The same is true of gross operating surplus and other income flows, and is the reason why volume estimates of GDP cannot be derived by aggregating volume indexes of its income components. However, it is possible to deflate income flows, financial assets and liabilities by a price index in order to measure the purchasing power of the aggregate in question over a designated numeraire set of goods and services. Such measures are called 'real' estimates.

Real net worth has been derived by aggregating the volume estimates of the non-financial assets with the real estimates of financial assets less liabilities.

The ABS will continue to develop estimates of the value and volume of Australia's assets for inclusion in national balance sheets as additional data become available. Estimation techniques will be refined as research in Australia and abroad explores issues relating to the valuation of natural resources.

CURRENT PRICE BALANCE SHEET ESTIMATES

Australia's net worth at 30 June 2005 was estimated at $4,458.9b (table 29.17), an increase of 10.1% since 30 June 2004. This was lower than the 13.2% growth over the previous period. Graph 29.18 shows that net worth has exhibited especially strong growth in the years since 1999-2000 during which annual rates of over 8% were achieved.

Total produced assets at 30 June 2005 were estimated at $2,695.9b, an increase of 8.9% from the level at the end of June 2004. The estimated value of produced assets rose at an average annual rate of 5.5% between 30 June 1992 and 30 June 2005 and consistently accounted for over 60% of net worth. At 30 June 2005, dwellings, non-dwelling construction, and machinery and equipment represented 94% of total produced assets.

The difference between Australia's assets and liabilities with the rest of the world represents the net international investment position. Australia's net liabilities stood at $516.9b at 30 June 2005, a rise of 9.9% on the position at the end of June 2004. Net liabilities as a proportion of net worth have increased steadily from 12.0% at 30 June 1992 to a peak of 13.6% at 30 June 1996. At 30 June 2005 the proportion was 11.6%.


29.17 NATIONAL BALANCE SHEET, Current prices - 30 June
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
$b
$b
$b
$b
$b

TOTAL ASSETS
3,765.7
4,102.3
4,527.1
5,144.4
5,597.7
Non-financial assets
3,277.6
3,583.8
4,007.2
4,521.0
4,975.9
Produced assets
2,054.3
2,146.1
2,288.1
2,476.2
2,695.9
Fixed assets
1,945.1
2,036.6
2,175.7
2,358.0
2,571.1
Tangible fixed assets
1,917.6
2,007.3
2,144.9
2,325.8
2,537.8
Machinery and equipment
336.3
346.8
351.0
358.2
375.5
Non-dwelling construction
803.1
834.3
888.8
963.9
1,058.9
Livestock - fixed assets(a)
16.3
16.7
15.5
15.6
16.1
Dwellings
762.0
809.6
889.6
988.2
1,087.3
Intangible fixed assets
27.4
29.3
30.8
32.2
33.3
Computer software
26.7
28.5
29.9
31.3
32.3
Entertainment, literary or artistic originals
0.8
0.8
0.8
0.9
1.0
Inventories
109.2
109.5
112.4
118.2
124.8
Private non-farm(b)
88.0
86.9
90.7
95.9
101.9
Farm
7.1
7.4
7.0
6.9
7.1
Public authorities
3.0
3.0
2.9
2.6
2.6
Livestock - inventories
3.9
4.6
4.0
4.4
4.7
Plantation standing timber(c)
7.1
7.6
7.9
8.4
8.5
Non-produced assets(c)
1,223.3
1,437.7
1,719.1
2,044.8
2,280.0
Tangible non-produced assets
1,219.8
1,434.2
1,715.6
2,041.3
2,276.5
Land
1,010.2
1,181.7
1,450.0
1,753.3
1,923.4
Subsoil assets
202.6
245.0
257.3
278.8
343.8
Native standing timber
2.6
2.8
3.0
3.4
3.4
Spectrum
4.4
4.7
5.3
5.7
6.0
Intangible non-produced assets
3.5
3.5
3.4
3.5
3.5
Spectrum licences
3.5
3.5
3.4
3.5
3.5
Financial assets with the rest of the world
488.1
518.5
519.9
623.4
621.7
Monetary gold and SDRs
1.6
1.7
1.6
1.7
1.7
Currency and deposits
24.2
27.0
26.4
41.4
48.5
Securities other than shares
84.1
95.5
113.9
128.2
125.3
Loans and placements
57.2
61.4
59.2
70.4
79.4
Shares and other equity
294.3
309.2
294.8
358.0
342.6
Other accounts receivable
26.8
23.7
24.1
23.6
24.3
LIABILITIES TO THE REST OF THE WORLD
854.6
883.7
948.0
1,093.9
1,138.6
Currency and deposits
56.8
57.7
65.4
78.8
64.4
Securities other than shares
332.6
349.6
378.7
449.6
503.1
Loans and placements
96.7
112.0
120.9
113.0
123.2
Shares and other equity
358.1
350.3
365.1
433.8
429.4
Other accounts payable
10.3
14.1
18.0
18.7
18.6
NET WORTH
2,911.2
3,218.6
3,579.1
4,050.5
4,458.9
Memorandum items
Consumer durables
171.3
180.5
187.4
196.1
205.0
Direct investment
Foreign investment in Australia
215.2
225.6
252.4
272.4
275.4
Australian investment abroad
187.2
193.1
178.1
216.5
187.4
Non-rateable land
48.0
55.6
79.3
83.4
96.2

(a) Livestock- fixed assets included in the balance sheet include all animals and not just sheep and cattle as shown in the capital stock tables.
(b) Includes for all periods the privatised marketing authorities.
(c) Experimental estimates.
Source: Australian System of National Accounts, 2004-05 (5204.0).

29.18 CHANGE IN TOTAL NET WORTH - 30 June 29.18 CHANGE IN TOTAL NET WORTH - 30 June


REAL/VOLUME BALANCE SHEET ESTIMATES

Australia's real net worth (total assets less total liabilities to the rest of the world) increased by 2.7% over the year ended 30 June 2005 compared with the average annual growth over the period 30 June 1992 to 30 June 2005 of 1.9%. In 2004-05 the real value of non-financial assets grew by 3.3%, the real value of financial assets fell by 2.3% and the real value of liabilities grew by 2.0% (table 29.19).


29.19 NATIONAL BALANCE SHEET, Real/volume(a)(b) - 30 June
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
$b
$b
$b
$b
$b

TOTAL ASSETS
4,502.5
4,570.5
4,654.9
4,913.3
5,038.9
Non-financial assets
3,994.4
4,042.1
4,133.9
4,297.2
4,437.0
Produced assets
2,177.4
2,220.0
2,284.6
2,421.6
2,513.3
Fixed assets
2,066.7
2,110.3
2,172.5
2,299.2
2,388.3
Tangible fixed assets
2,044.3
2,083.6
2,141.8
2,266.2
2,351.9
Machinery and equipment
307.6
319.9
338.0
361.4
387.0
Non-dwelling construction
877.6
890.8
910.5
931.8
957.0
Livestock - fixed assets(c)
15.7
15.8
15.2
15.2
15.5
Dwellings
858.9
886.9
921.6
957.8
992.5
Intangible fixed assets
23.7
27.1
30.7
33.1
36.4
Computer software
22.6
25.4
28.7
32.2
35.5
Entertainment, literary or artistic originals
0.8
0.8
0.9
0.9
0.9
Inventories
110.4
109.7
112.1
122.4
125.0
Private non-farm(d)
90.5
90.3
91.6
98.4
100.9
Farm
8.6
9.0
8.7
8.8
8.7
Public authorities
3.0
3.1
2.9
2.6
2.6
Livestock - inventories
4.3
4.8
4.2
4.4
4.4
Plantation standing timber(e)
7.6
7.9
8.0
8.3
8.4
Non-produced assets(e)
1,813.9
1,822.8
1,855.3
1,875.6
1,923.7
Tangible non-produced assets
1,810.5
1,819.5
1,852.1
1,872.3
1,920.6
Land
1,540.8
1,554.8
1,572.5
1,591.6
1,633.2
Subsoil assets
247.7
255.5
264.3
271.7
278.1
Native standing timber
2.7
2.9
3.1
3.3
3.4
Spectrum
4.6
4.8
5.3
5.6
5.7
Intangible non-produced assets
3.4
3.3
3.2
3.2
3.1
Spectrum licences
3.4
3.3
3.2
3.2
3.1
Financial assets with the rest of the world
510.0
529.8
523.0
616.1
602.0
Monetary gold and SDRs
1.6
1.7
1.6
1.7
1.7
Currency and deposits
25.2
27.6
26.5
40.9
46.9
Securities other than shares
87.9
97.6
114.6
126.7
121.3
Loans and placements
59.7
62.7
59.6
69.6
76.9
Shares and other equity
307.5
316.0
296.5
353.8
331.7
Other accounts receivable
28.0
24.2
24.2
23.3
23.5
LIABILITIES TO THE REST OF THE WORLD
892.8
902.9
953.6
1,081.0
1,102.5
Currency and deposits
59.3
59.0
65.8
77.9
62.3
Securities other than shares
347.5
357.2
380.9
444.4
487.1
Loans and placements
101.1
114.5
121.6
111.7
119.3
Shares and other equity
374.2
357.9
367.2
428.7
415.8
Other accounts payable
10.8
14.4
18.1
18.5
18.0
NET WORTH
3,615.8
3,675.2
3,703.5
3,832.2
3,936.5

(a) Reference year for volume and real measures is 2003-04.
(b) Volume measures for years other than 2003-04 and 2004-05 are not additive.
(c) Livestock - fixed assets included in the balance sheet include all animals and not just sheep and cattle as shown in the capital stock tables.
(d) Includes for all periods the privatised marketing authorities.
(e) Experimental estimates.
Source: Australian System of National Accounts, 2004-05 (5204.0).


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