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


15.77    Currency consists of notes and coins that are of fixed nominal values and are issued or authorised by the central bank or government. A distinction is drawn between domestic currency — which is the liability of resident units, such as the central bank and central government — and foreign currencies that are liabilities of non-resident units, such as foreign central banks, other banks and governments.

15.78    For Australia, the currency asset refers solely to domestic currency. There is little foreign currency in general circulation, and significant holdings are classified as foreign deposits.

15.79    Notes and coins are treated as liabilities at full face value. The cost of producing the physical notes and coins is recorded as government expenditure, and not netted against the receipts from issuing the currency.

Sources and methods – quarterly

15.80    In the currency market, all sectors and subsectors can hold currency as assets. In the ASNA, the RBA and the national general government sectors issue domestic currency, with the RBA issuing notes and the national general government issuing coins.

15.81    The table below outlines the data sources and methods used in the estimation of quarterly currency by sector in current prices. Real estimates are calculated for the national balance sheet.

15.2 Quarterly currency – by subsector
Reserve Bank of Australia
 Data for total notes accepted by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) are obtained from the balance sheet information from the ABS Survey of Financial Information – Reserve Bank of Australia.

The counterparty asset holders for notes (excluding other private non-financial corporations and households are obtained from the suite of balance sheet forms from the ABS Survey of Financial Information and the APRA Economic and Financial Statistics (EFS) collection.

A residual asset holding of the notes is calculated as total liabilities less the sum of total assets held (from the ABS and APRA forms). The residual is split equally between other private non-financial corporations and households.
National general government
 Data for total coins accepted by the National general government is obtained from balance sheet information from Commonwealth government ledgers through the Department of Finance.

The total coin assets are held outside the banking system and are split equally between other private non-financial corporations and households.
Rest of the world
 The main data source for total currencies accepted by the rest of the world and the respective counterparty asset holders are obtained from the ABS Survey of International Investment.