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Key figures: all levels of general government, Government Finance Statistics (GFS)
Graph 1: All levels of general government, GFS revenue and expenses
Graph 2: All levels of general government, net operating balance, net lending/borrowing
Table 1: GFS key figures: all levels of government, original
Quarterly national accounts public sector measures - key figures
The table below includes the key public sector aggregates for the March quarter 2020 which will be included in the Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product (cat. no. 5206.0). The key figures shown include Government Final Consumption Expenditure for total general government and Gross Fixed Capital Formation for total general government and total public corporations, seasonally adjusted in current prices and chain volume terms.
In seasonally adjusted chain volume terms compared with the previous quarter:
Graph 3: National accounts public sector key measures, seasonally adjusted chain volume
Table 2: Quarterly national accounts public sector measures - key figures, seasonally adjusted
(a) See paragraph 35 of the Explanatory Notes for the relationship between general government final consumption expenditure and GFS aggregates.
(b) Reference year for chain volume measures is 2017-18.
Quarters presented in this release
This release presents quarterly government finance statistics on an accrual accounting basis. All tables presented are for the general government sector, with the exception of Table 2 which presents data for the public non-financial corporations sector.
Detailed quarterly GFS are released for the current financial year only, other than in the September quarter, when the quarters of the previous financial year are presented. Users requiring data for earlier periods should consult the annual publication Government Finance Statistics, Australia (cat. no. 5512.0). The latest issue (2018-19) was released on 28 April 2020.
Government Finance Statistics are part of the broader suite of macroeconomic accounts produced by the ABS. They share their basic concepts with the National Accounts and Balance of Payments. The conceptual framework is agreed internationally and published by the International Monetary Fund. Macroeconomic statistics are compiled to enable macroeconomic analysis and the standards may differ from accounting standards in some regards.
The ABS is currently monitoring for potential impacts from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the Government Finance statistics. The World Health Organisation (WHO) commenced daily situation reports of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on 21 January 2020 and identified it as an international health emergency on 30 January. Commencing from March 12, the Australian Government have announced a series of temporary and targeted economic plans to keep Australians in jobs, keep businesses in business and support households and the Australian economy to deal with the economic and health challenges posed by the spread of the coronavirus. These economic plans are expected to have a significant impact on public sector statistical aggregates. A number of these economic plans came into effect from mid-March with the majority of this support to be in effect during the June 2020 quarter.
COVID-19 saw a minor impact on data collection activities for the March 2020 quarter. Quality assurance undertaken by the ABS has confirmed that these disruptions did not affect the quality of GFS estimates. March 2020 quarter impacts driven by the COVID-19 economic plans implemented during the quarter were observed in the Income and Outlay, Taxation and Public Consumption statistical aggregates.
The following COVID-19 economic stimulus programs are being recorded on a cash basis in ABS macroeconomic outputs in March quarter 2020:
· Boosting cash flow for employers;
· The first $750 of the Coronavirus economic support payment; and
· Apprentices and trainees support payment.
Recent bushfires around Australia resulted in minor disruption to data collection activities during March quarter 2020. Quality assurance undertaken by the ABS has confirmed that these disruptions did not affect the quality of GFS estimates. As expected, the impacts of bushfire relief and recovery activities were observed in the March quarter, primarily through public consumption statistical aggregates, with very minor impacts in the Income and Outlay and Taxation statistical aggregates.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics is publishing a series of notes which describe the economic measurement of selected issues during COVID-19 in the Economic Accounts, including Government Finance Statistics, National Accounts and Balance of Payments and International Investment Position. Topics such as classifying JobKeeper payments, boosting cash flow for employers, and payroll tax changes will be released through a rolling agenda, and can be accessed through the paper Economic measurement during COVID-19: Selected issues in the Economic Accounts. More information relating to measuring natural disasters in the Australian economy can be found in the following ABS Chief Economist Series paper: Measuring natural disasters in the Australian economy Further ABS data measuring the impact of COVID-19 in Australia can be found via abs.gov.au/covid19.
Accounting Standard Changes
The following Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) standard changes have been introduced in government financial reporting for periods from 1 July 2019 onwards, leading to increased divergence in certain circumstances between economic statistics publications and government financial reporting:
Transactions related to visa application charges
In December 2015, the Commonwealth Government released the 2015-16 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) which included a reclassification of visa application charges (VAC). In MYEFO these charges are now treated as taxation revenue rather than sales of goods and services. This reclassification has been applied to the Government Finance Statistics (GFS), with no impact on total GFS revenue or the GFS net operating balance. The National Accounts statistics will maintain coherence with previously published data and classify this transaction as sales of goods and services. These treatments will remain in place until a review of the treatment of VAC across macroeconomic statistics has been completed.
The release of GFS quarterly data is usually coordinated to be the day before the respective issue of Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product (cat. no. 5206.0). The scheduled release dates for the next two issues are:
New ABS website
The ABS will be launching a new website in 2020. You will soon be able to see how this release will appear on the new website by exploring our Beta site. Regular users of this information are encouraged to explore the Beta site and consider if this will affect the way you access and consume ABS data and information. If you would like more information on the new ABS website, or want to discuss how the transition to the new site might impact you, please email newABSwebsite@abs.gov.au
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