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Chapter 18 External account

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

18.1    All current transactions between Australian residents and non-residents are recorded in the external income account. The income of non-residents includes Australia's imports of goods and services, compensation payable to non-resident employees, property income receivable from Australia and other current transfers from Australia. The use of income side shows Australia's exports of goods and services, compensation payable by non-residents to Australian employees, property income payable to Australia and other current transfers to Australia. The balance on the external income account represents net lending to non-residents: positive net lending to non-residents corresponds to a surplus on current transactions and negative net lending corresponds to a deficit. Aside from some presentation differences, the external income account shown in the national accounts is the same as the current account in balance of payments statistics. For more detail on the compilation of the external account, refer to the ABS publication, Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, Australia: Concepts, Sources and Methods.

18.2    The external capital account shows, on one side, the balance on external current transactions (from the external income account) and net capital transfers receivable from Australian residents. On the other side, net acquisitions of non-produced non-financial assets by non-residents are shown. The balance is net lending from non-residents to Australia.

18.3    The external financial account records all transactions in financial assets between Australian residents and the rest of the world. The balancing item in the external financial account (that is, net acquisition of financial assets less net incurrence of financial liabilities) is conceptually equal to the balancing item in the external capital account. However, in practice a statistical discrepancy is required to achieve balance.

18.4    The external balance sheet records Australian residents' assets in the rest of the world and non-residents' assets in Australia. The balancing item is Australia's net international investment position, which is a component of Australia's net worth.