5611.0 - Finance, Australia, 1999-2000  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/11/2000   
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November 16, 2000
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

ABS Snapshot Shows Finance Sector Means Business

The key role played by the Australian finance sector in the national economy was underscored today with the release of Finance, Australia by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

This publication brings together information from many different sources to present a comprehensive snapshot of the sector.

The publication shows that in August 2000 the finance and insurance industry employed 330,000 people. The industry contributed 7.1 per cent of total industry value added in 1999-2000, up from 6.5 per cent five years earlier. The finance sector is also highly globalised, holding $24 billion in direct equity investment abroad to expand its access to global financial markets.

The publication provides a broad basis for analysis and research on the Australian finance sector. It contains tables, graphs, commentaries and technical notes explaining the concepts and terminology used to describe the sector and its operations. It includes an article that places the finance and insurance industry in the wider perspective of the businesses that both support its operations and are key clients for its services. The role of information technology in the Australian economy and its significance for the finance and insurance industry is also explored, as is equity capital raising in Australia and the increasing participation of households in Australian equity markets.

The publication includes statistics on the assets and liabilities of finance sector enterprises, the finance industry and its role and contribution to the economy, and financial markets. The publication also includes statistics on interest rates, exchange rates, managed funds, Australian Stock Exchange indexes and selected international comparisons.

This publication is available on the ABS Internet home page at www.abs.gov.au or from ABS bookshops in all capital cities. The next issue will be released in October 2001 (containing data up to the 2000-2001 financial year). A new companion publication, Finance Australia in Brief, providing updated statistics and highlighting new market and industry developments, will be released in April 2001. If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication, contact the ABS Bookshop in your capital city.