9.16 Conceptually, the balance of payments, including the international investment position, are part of the broader Australian System of National Accounts. International merchandise exports and imports are components of the balance of payments and so contribute to national accounts statistics through the balance of payments.
9.17 The national accounts provide a comprehensive and systematic set of statistics for the Australian economy, with information on economic transactions, other changes in the levels of assets and liabilities, and the levels of assets and liabilities themselves. The Australian National Accounts have generally been compiled according to the System of National Accounts and have been aligned with SNA93 from the September quarter 1998 issue. For more details, see Australian System of National Accounts: Concepts, Sources and Methods 2000 (Cat. no. 5216.0).
9.18 Linkages between the balance of payments and the national accounts are reinforced by the fact that, as in many other countries, the balance of payments are compiled first and subsequently included directly without amendment in the national accounts.
9.19 The national accounts tables reflect the basic aspects of economic life (production, income, consumption, accumulation and wealth). For many analysts, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the key economic aggregate, as it measures the 'total value added' for the Australian economy in any period.
9.20 Exports and imports are included in the expenditure based measure of GDP. This measure is derived as final consumption expenditure by government and households, plus investment in fixed capital formation and changes in inventories, plus exports minus imports (of both goods and services) plus or minus a statistical discrepancy.
Chain volume measures
9.21 Chain volume measures for exports and imports are calculated from international merchandise trade statistics, on a quarterly basis. Results are published, along with other measures of Australia's economy, in the quarterly Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product (Cat. no. 5206.0) and Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia (Cat. no. 5302.0), and in the annual Australian System of National Accounts (Cat. no. 5204.0).
9.22 Chain volume measures provide estimates of value changes after the direct effect of price changes has been eliminated (i.e. they reflect volume changes). For more details, see Information Paper: Introduction of Chain Volume Measures in the Australian National Accounts (Cat. no. 5248.0).
9.23 Annual input-output tables also use international merchandise trade statistics. These tables are a means of describing, for a particular period, the supply and disposition of the products (both goods and services) of an entire economic system.
9.24 International merchandise trade data are reclassified to Input Output Product Classifications (IOPCs), which are then aggregated to Input Output Product Groups (IOPGs), adjusted to a balance of payments basis, confidentialised and released. Further information may be found in the ABS publications Australian National Accounts: Input-Output Tables (Cat. no. 5209.0), and Australian National Accounts: Input-Output Tables (Product Details) (Cat. no. 5215.0).
9.25 This second publication shows the value of Australian production, imports and exports for over 1,000 commodities classified to the industry from which each originates, such as agriculture, manufacturing, business services and personal services.