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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2009–10  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/06/2010   
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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 ABS 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.


Current price balance sheet estimates

Australia's net worth at the end of June 2008 was estimated to be $6,390.0b in current prices, an increase of 7.1% since 30 June 2007 (table 30.17). Graph 30.18 shows that net worth has exhibited especially strong growth in the years since 2001-02 during which annual rates of up to 13.9% have been achieved.

Total produced assets at 30 June 2008 were estimated at $3,536.8b, an increase of 10.0% from the level at the end of June 2007. The estimated value of produced assets rose at an average annual rate of 7.8% between 30 June 2000 and 30 June 2008. At 30 June 2008, dwellings, non-dwelling construction, and machinery and equipment represented approximately 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 $1,717.8b at 30 June 2008, a rise of 4.7% on the position at the end of June 2007. Net liabilities as a proportion of net worth have increased steadily from 14.3% at 30 June 1989 to a peak of 27.5% at 30 June 2007. At 30 June 2008 the proportion was 26.9%.

30.17 NATIONAL BALANCE SHEET, Current prices - 30 June

2003-04
2004-05
2005-06
2006-07
2007-08
$b
$b
$b
$b
$b

Total assets
5 684.5
6 065.8
6 805.7
7 604.6
8 107.7
Non-financial assets
5 046.1
5 422.2
5 975.8
6 590.2
7 082.1
Produced assets
2 485.6
2 709.7
2 952.9
3 215.2
3 536.8
Fixed assets
2 369.4
2 584.0
2 820.1
3 077.8
3 388.3
Tangible fixed assets
2 336.2
2 549.1
2 783.6
3 039.9
3 348.6
Machinery and equipment
361.6
384.3
417.8
445.6
476.4
Non-dwelling construction
966.5
1 061.5
1 176.7
1 311.8
1 474.9
Livestock - fixed assets(a)
16.3
16.5
16.9
17.4
18.2
Dwellings
991.7
1 086.8
1 172.2
1 265.1
1 379.0
Intangible fixed assets
33.3
35.0
36.5
37.9
39.8
Computer software
32.4
34.0
35.4
36.6
38.4
Entertainment, literary or artistic originals
0.9
1.0
1.1
1.2
1.4
Inventories
116.1
125.7
132.8
137.5
148.5
Private non-farm(b)
93.9
103.0
109.0
113.7
124.5
Farm
7.1
7.4
8.0
7.8
8.7
Public authorities
2.6
2.5
2.9
2.9
2.0
Livestock - inventories
4.4
4.6
4.8
4.6
4.6
Plantation standing timber(c)
8.1
8.2
8.2
8.5
8.7
Non-produced assets(c)
2 560.5
2 712.5
3 022.9
3 375.0
3 545.3
Tangible non-produced assets
2 557.1
2 709.1
3 019.7
3 372.0
3 542.5
Land
2 311.1
2 439.3
2 702.7
3 015.9
3 147.8
Subsoil assets
238.2
261.8
308.5
347.1
385.1
Native standing timber
2.2
2.1
2.1
2.2
2.2
Spectrum
5.6
6.0
6.4
6.8
7.3
Intangible non-produced assets
3.4
3.3
3.2
3.0
2.8
Spectrum licences
3.4
3.3
3.2
3.0
2.8
Financial assets with the rest of the world(d)
638.4
643.6
829.9
1 014.3
1 025.6
Monetary gold and SDRs
1.7
1.7
2.4
2.2
2.7
Currency and deposits
41.4
48.3
47.7
67.2
50.7
Securities other than shares
128.0
122.8
149.9
179.0
220.5
Loans and placements
69.2
73.4
90.3
115.9
109.3
Shares and other equity
370.7
356.8
479.3
572.0
553.1
Other accounts receivable
27.4
40.6
60.2
78.0
89.4
Liabilities to the rest of the world
1 091.7
1 150.1
1 370.5
1 640.7
1 717.8
Currency and deposits
75.7
59.6
75.2
73.3
81.7
Securities other than shares
453.3
509.0
621.6
730.0
791.1
Loans and placements
115.2
142.4
145.0
174.3
186.1
Shares and other equity
434.6
427.9
517.1
651.0
645.3
Other accounts payable
13.0
11.2
11.7
12.2
13.6
Net worth(d)
4 592.8
4 915.8
5 435.1
5 963.8
6 390.0
Memorandum items
Consumer durables
208.6
217.7
227.7
240.1
253.6
Direct investment
Foreign investment in Australia
274.1
274.5
298.8
346.5
379.4
Australian investment abroad
232.0
198.8
273.2
317.8
311.1

(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.
(d) Estimates differ from those in table 31.17 due to compilation at different points in time.
Source: ABS Australian System of National Accounts, 2007–08 (5204.0).

30.18 Change in total net worth -30 June
Graph: 30.18 Change in total net worth—–30 June



Real/volume balance sheets

An article introducing experimental real/volume balance sheets for Australia was published in the March quarter 2001 issue of ABS 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 changes in prices.

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, such as the implicit price deflator for gross national expenditure, in order to measure changes in the purchasing power of the aggregate in question. 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.


Real/volume balance sheet estimates

Australia's real net worth (total assets less total liabilities to the rest of the world) increased by 2.5% over the year ended 30 June 2008 compared with the average annual growth over the period 30 June 1992 to 30 June 2008 of 2.1%. In 2007-08 the real value of non-financial assets grew by 2.9%, the real value of financial assets fell by 1.9% and the real value of liabilities grew by 1.6% (table 30.19).
30.19 NATIONAL BALANCE SHEET, Volume/Real(a) - 30 June

2003-04
2004-05
2005-06
2006-07
2007-08
$b
$b
$b
$b
$b

Total assets
6 640.9
6 787.2
7 119.5
7 441.8
7 612.6
Non-financial assets
5 962.2
6 116.8
6 277.4
6 443.6
6 633.1
Produced assets
2 777.2
2 888.2
3 007.5
3 133.3
3 288.0
Fixed assets
2 650.8
2 756.3
2 875.4
2 998.8
3 148.9
Tangible fixed assets
2 621.3
2 723.5
2 839.6
2 960.3
3 107.0
Machinery and equipment
1 118.8
1 158.9
1 195.1
1 231.8
1 268.0
Non-dwelling construction
1 140.2
1 173.2
1 217.8
1 270.4
1 330.0
Livestock - fixed assets(b)
355.0
383.0
418.0
450.8
492.6
Dwellings
16.9
16.9
17.2
16.8
16.5
Intangible fixed assets
30.0
32.9
35.8
38.5
41.8
Computer software
29.0
31.9
34.6
37.3
40.5
Entertainment, literary or artistic originals
1.0
1.1
1.1
1.2
1.3
Inventories
126.3
131.8
132.1
134.5
139.1
Private non-farm(c)
103.1
108.3
107.9
110.7
115.1
Farm
7.2
7.5
8.1
7.8
8.8
Public authorities
2.6
2.5
2.9
2.9
2.0
Livestock - inventories
4.3
4.4
4.5
4.6
4.6
Plantation standing timber(d)
9.2
9.2
8.8
8.5
8.5
Non-produced assets(d)
3 195.0
3 234.3
3 271.7
3 310.5
3 345.1
Tangible non-produced assets
3 191.3
3 230.8
3 268.5
3 307.6
3 342.5
Land
2 871.8
2 903.7
2 933.4
2 963.8
2 994.2
Subsoil assets
306.1
314.0
322.9
332.5
339.1
Native standing timber
2.0
2.1
2.1
2.2
2.2
Spectrum
5.9
6.2
6.5
6.7
7.0
Intangible non-produced assets
3.6
3.5
3.2
3.0
2.7
Spectrum licences
3.6
3.5
3.2
3.0
2.7
Financial assets with the rest of the world
684.9
673.9
843.0
998.3
979.5
Monetary gold and SDRs
1.9
1.8
2.4
2.2
2.6
Currency and deposits
44.4
50.6
48.5
66.1
48.4
Securities other than shares
137.3
128.6
152.3
176.2
210.6
Loans and placements
74.2
76.8
91.7
114.1
104.4
Shares and other equity
397.7
373.6
486.9
563.0
528.2
Other accounts receivable
29.4
42.5
61.2
76.8
85.3
Liabilities to the rest of the world
1 171.2
1 204.2
1 392.2
1 614.8
1 640.5
Currency and deposits
81.2
62.4
76.4
72.1
78.0
Securities other than shares
486.3
532.9
631.4
718.5
755.5
Loans and placements
123.5
149.1
147.3
171.5
177.7
Shares and other equity
466.2
448.1
525.2
640.7
616.3
Other accounts payable
13.9
11.7
11.9
12.0
13.0
Net worth
5 469.7
5 583.0
5 727.3
5 827.1
5 972.1

(a) Reference year for volume and real measures is 2006-07.
(b) Livestock- fixed assets included in the balance sheet include all animals and not just sheep and cattle as shown in the capital stock tables.
(c) Includes for all periods the privatised marketing authorities.
(d) Experimental estimates.
Source: ABS Australian System of National Accounts, 2007–08 (5204.0).





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