1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2002  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 25/01/2002   
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Contents >> Industry Overview >> The chapters on economic issues - a guide

Chapters 14 to 30 address economic issues - Australia's industries, some cross-cutting issues, and the macroeconomic perspectives.


Chapters 15 to 24, 26 and 27 provide a detailed discussion of individual industries, their structure, performance and activities.

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 $13,996m in 1998-99, representing 16% of the value of all exports in that year. In comparison, $4,529m was spent on energy imports, mainly crude oil and petroleum products. This chapter should be read in conjunction with Environment (see below), 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 chapter concludes with a Special Article on understanding Australia's agricultural exports data.

The main features of two important primary industries in Australia, forestry and commercial fishing, are presented see Forestry and Fishing.

The mining industry is profiled see 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 manufacturing industry is discussed see Manufacturing. This chapter 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 12% of employment. However, the sector's share of Australian GDP has fallen over the past 20 years. The chapter includes an article on the importance of elaborately transformed manufactures to Australia's manufacturing production and exports.

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 chapter contains two articles, on the construction industry's linkages with the Australian economy, and on the drivers of the demand for housing.

A profile of Australia's service industries is included see Service Industries. These industries are the most significant and fastest growing component of the Australian economy. This chapter 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's rotating program of service industries collections. The chapter includes an article on retailing in the 1990s.

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 chapter includes an article on measures of tourism's contribution to the Australian economy.

The transport industry and transport activities are discussed see 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 chapter includes a short article on the history of the airline Ansett Australia.

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 chapter 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 the financial operations and financial position of the Australian public sector, comprising general government entities, public financial and public non-financial corporations. The chapter includes an article on accrual-based Government Finance Statistics.

Cross-cutting issues

Two chapters 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; the condition of Australia's freshwater resources; Australia's land resources; protecting the marine environment; and atmosphere and climate change. The chapter includes an article on the influence of lifestyles on environmental pressures.

As indicated above, the chapter 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 chapter concludes with a Special Article on research and development in the Information and Communications Industries.

The macroeconomic perspectives

The remaining three chapters 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 chapter provides an outline of the major consumer and producer price indexes, their history, and their underlying concepts and methodology. It also outlines the ABS's producer price indexes in a Stage of Production framework, and output price indexes for selected services. The chapter includes an article on recent developments in producer and international trade price indexes, and concludes with a Special Article on analytical indexes measuring price impacts on the living costs of selected Australian household types.

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 chapter includes some summary national balance sheet measures, and two articles, on new volume estimates for health and education services, and a balance sheet for Australia in real or volume terms.

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. The chapter concludes with a Special Article on bilateral reconciliation studies of merchandise trade.

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