Another record current account surplus for Australia

Media Release
Released
30/11/2021

Australia's current account surplus in seasonally adjusted terms increased $1.0 billion to a record $23.9 billion in the September quarter 2021, according to latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

Balance of Payments components

The current account surplus was driven by a $8.1 billion increase in the balance on goods and services surplus. Exports of goods and services rose $9.7 billion (8 per cent), while imports of goods and services rose $1.6 billion (2 per cent). The net primary income deficit rose by $7.7 billion to $14.3 billion in the September quarter 2021.

Head of International Statistics at the ABS, Andrew Tomadini, said: "Australia's September quarter record current account surplus was driven by strong prices for exports of coal and other mineral fuels as well as greater volumes of agricultural exports. Import volumes fell this quarter as global supply chain pressures began to be felt in Australia. These falls were partially offset by rises in imports of processed industrial supplies n.e.s which saw large increases in imports of COVID-19 vaccines as the national roll-out gathered pace." 

(a) Seasonally adjusted estimates at current prices.

The net income deficit grew $7.7 billion, driven by increased income flows to non-residents for direct and portfolio investment as a result of improved operating profits and strong dividend payments by non-financial sector institutions.

The financial account deficit decreased by $2.5 billion to $21.7 billion in the September quarter 2021. This includes an increase in Reserve Assets, as Australia received its quota of Special Drawing Rights from a US$650 billion general allocation to International Monetary Fund member countries to support the global recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

(a) Seasonally adjusted

Contribution to Gross Domestic Product

In seasonally adjusted chain volume terms, the balance on goods and services surplus increased $5.3 billion. Assuming no significant revision to June quarter 2021 estimates of Gross Domestic Product, the balance on goods and services is expected to contribute 1.0 percentage point to the September quarter 2021 GDP. 

International Investment Position (IIP)

Australia's net IIP liability position was $860.9b at September quarter 2021, a decrease of $38.3b on the revised June quarter position of $898.5b. 

The net foreign equity asset position increased $34.5 billion to $330.9 billion at September quarter 2021 and the net foreign debt liability position increased $3.8 billion to $1,191.1 billion. 

Media notes