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5204.0.55.009 - Information Paper: Australian National Accounts, Distribution of Household Income, Consumption and Wealth, 2009-10  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/08/2013  First Issue
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16 August 2013
Embargoed: 11.30 am Canberra time
First release of household distributional information

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released for the first time, indicators of the distribution of material living standards for Australian households in the context of the Australian National Accounts.

Ms Amanda Seneviratne, Director of Financial, Balance Sheets and Improvements, said the data will widen the economic indicator spectrum to assist economic and social policy. The results provide a bridge between the ABS household survey data and national accounts data.

"Widely used macroeconomic measures of the economy such as the GDP, provide vital information on the size and structure of the Australian economy. However they do not provide information on the distribution of income and wealth or the individual access to goods and services.

"These issues of equity are widely recognised as crucial to an understanding of material well-being, and have been of increasing focus over recent years. Issues of distribution and access are also central to targeting, and improving the efficiency of economic policies", Ms Seneviratne said.

The results are a start in addressing recommendations from Group of Twenty (G-20) Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, in response to the global financial crisis, and the“Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi Commission”. Both reports stressed the importance of compiling household distributional information alongside the aggregate national accounts measures to provide better measures of people’s well-being.

Further information is available in Information Paper: Australian National Accounts, Distribution of Household Income, Consumption and Wealth, 2009-10, (cat. no. 5204.0.55.009).

Media note: When reporting ABS statistics, please attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) as the source.

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