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Chapter 1 Introduction

Australian System of National Accounts: Concepts, Sources and Methods
Reference period
2020-21 financial year

1.1    This chapter describes the nature, purpose and history of the Australian System of National Accounts (ASNA) as well as key improvements since the previous update in 2015. The ASNA is based on the international standard, the System of National Accounts, 2008 (2008 SNA). The 2008 SNA ensures consistency with related manuals, such as the International Monetary Fund Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual, sixth edition (BPM6), which was updated simultaneously with the 2008 SNA, as well as Australian Government Finance Statistics, Concepts, Sources and Methods 2015 (AGFS15). Coinciding with the implementation of the revised international standards, the ASNA currently adopts the 2006 Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC06).

1.2    Although balance of payments and government finance statistics are an integral part of the Australian National Accounts, a description of concepts and data sources used for these statistics is included only for those aggregates that appear in the National Accounts. A detailed discussion of the key improvements introduced into the ASNA as a result of 2008 SNA implementation can also be found in Information Paper: Implementation of new international statistical standards in ABS National and International Accounts, (September 2009). For a more detailed description of balance of payments statistics, see Balance of Payments and International Investment Positions, Australia: Concepts, Sources and Methods and for Government Finance Statistics, see AGFS15.