Energy presents information on the energy sector - its resources, the supply and use of energy products, conservation initiatives and environmental issues. The export of energy products earned Australia $25,503m in 2001-02, representing 21% of the value of all exports in that year. In comparison, $9,030m was spent on energy imports, mainly crude oil and petroleum products. The section concludes with an article Renewable energy in 2003. The section should be read in conjunction with Environment, given the close links between the production and consumption of energy products and their environmental impacts.
Agriculture presents a detailed picture of Australia's agriculture industry, including aspects such as land use, commodity production, livestock numbers and employment. Australian agriculture is a vital industry occupying a significant place in global rural trade, with wool, beef, wheat, cotton and sugar being particularly important. Australia is also an important source of dairy produce, fruit, rice and flowers. The section includes an article Environmental impacts of agriculture, and concludes with an article The wool industry - looking back and forward.
The main features of two important primary industries in Australia, forestry and commercial fishing, are presented in Forestry and fishing. The section includes four articles, namely Forest conservation, Sustainable forest management, Fishing and the environment, and Aquaculture and the environment.
The mining industry is profiled in Mining. Australia continues to rank as one of the world's leading mineral resource nations, and minerals exports are the nation's largest export earner. The section includes two articles, A Decade of Australian exploration expenditure - 1991-92 to 2000-01, and Mining and the environment.
The manufacturing industry is discussed in Manufacturing. This section presents a range of data about manufacturing as a whole and its constituent industries. It is an important sector in the Australian economy, contributing about 13% of Australia's GDP and its employment. However, the sector's share of Australian GDP has fallen over the past 20 years. The section includes an article on Manufacturing and the environment.
Construction provides an analysis of the construction industry and its activities. The construction industry engages in three broad areas of activity: residential building (houses, flats, etc.), non-residential building (offices, shops, hotels, etc.), and engineering construction (roads, bridges, water and sewerage, etc.). A number of other parts of the Australian economy are also closely linked to the construction industry, including parts of the manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, and finance industries, in supplying components, fittings and furnishings, and in financing construction. The section contains three articles, namely The WasteWise Construction Program, Attitudes of residential builders to energy issues and usage, and The use of forest products. It concludes with an article Construction and the environment.
A profile of Australia's service industries is included in Service industries. These industries are the most significant and fastest growing component of the Australian economy. This section presents them in overview, and provides a range of statistical information for a selection of the service industries, with a particular focus on those surveyed in the ABS rotating program of service industries collections. The section includes an article Sports industries.
Tourism presents statistics on Australia's tourism activities, both domestic and international. In an economic context, the effects of tourism are to generate economic activity and to transfer such activity between different parts of the economy. Tourism-related activity is now recognised as a major contributor to total economic activity. In particular, international tourism has experienced substantial growth in the past decade or so. The section concludes with an article Sustainable tourism in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
The transport industry and transport activities are discussed in Transport. Transport has great economic and social impact, generating substantial employment and contributing significantly to GDP, with numerous support industries ranging from automotive manufacturers to travel agencies. There are also social costs of transport - such as road accidents, traffic congestion, fuel emissions, aircraft noise pollution and shipping oil spills. The section concludes with an article Environmental impacts of Australia's transport system.
Communications and information technology covers the communication services industries, which encompass telecommunication services, and postal and courier services. Communication services overall has been one of the fastest growing industries in Australia. The section also canvasses the use of information technology by businesses, farms and households.
Financial system provides an analysis of Australia's financial system and its main institutions, markets and activities.
Government finance presents statistics on the financial operations and financial position of the Australian public sector, comprising general government entities, public financial and public non-financial corporations. The section includes an article Recent tax reforms.
Two sections discuss cross-cutting issues affecting the Australian economy.
Environment discusses a range of contemporary environmental issues affecting Australia. These include environmental attitudes and behaviour in Australian households; Australia's biodiversity; extent and clearing of native vegetation; invasive species; coastal and marine environment; and atmosphere and climate change. As 2003 is the International Year of Freshwater, the section concludes with an article Australia's rivers.
As indicated earlier, the section should be read in conjunction with Energy.
Science and innovation presents information on investment (in terms of human resources and expenditure) in research and development by broad sector, and on the incidence and impacts of innovation in Australian industry.
The macroeconomic perspectives
The remaining three sections focus on various macroeconomic perspectives on the Australian economy.
Prices discusses a range of price indexes providing summary measures of the movements in various categories of prices. Price indexes are used extensively to analyse and monitor price behaviour, and to adjust government payments such as pensions. The section provides an outline of the major consumer and producer price indexes, their history, and their underlying concepts and methodology. It also outlines the ABS producer price indexes in a stage of production framework, and output price indexes for selected services.
National accounts provides a systematic summary of national economic activity, as embodied in Australia's system of national accounts. The system includes national income, expenditure and product accounts, financial accounts, the national balance sheet and input-output tables. At their summary level, the national income, expenditure and product accounts reflect key economic flows: production, the distribution of incomes, consumption, saving and investment. At their more detailed level, they are designed to present a statistical picture of the structure of the economy and the detailed processes that make up domestic production and its distribution. The section includes a national balance sheet for Australia at current prices and in real/volume terms. It includes an article Beyond GDP: Towards wider measures of wellbeing, and concludes with an article Accounting for the environment in National Accounts.
International accounts and trade presents statistics on Australia's exports and imports of goods, international trade in services, international investment transactions, and the levels of Australia's foreign financial assets and liabilities. These statistics are used by economic analysts and policy advisers to monitor, evaluate and forecast developments in Australia's external trade and external sector accounts, to analyse patterns of trade and to assess types of transactions and financial claims and liabilities between Australian residents and non-residents.