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History and purpose of gross state product 

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

Introduction

21.5    Gross state product (or regional product) is the equivalent of gross domestic product for a region of a national economy. This measure can be produced for a region of any size whether a state, territory, or district. In the Australian context, it is compiled for the six states and two territories and is termed Gross State Product.

21.6    The history of state or regional product is much shorter than that for the national accounts: official sub-national estimates have been produced for the last thirty years.

21.7    No country currently compiles a complete set of SNA accounts for regions of a national economy, with most countries focussing on allocating productive activities to regions. This is largely due to conceptual difficulties with the allocation of economic activity of multi-region institutional units.  

21.8    Some productive activities which operate across regions, such as finance, transport and communications, can be problematic to allocate to states and territories. Work is continuing internationally on improving the scope, quality and relevance of the state/regional accounts; Australian efforts are described throughout this chapter.

21.9    State accounts are used for the twin purposes of policy formulation and government planning. The main use is to assist in the formation of policies for industrial development and infrastructure provision, and to plan public finances. GSP is also used to explain GDP results in a regional context, as well as comparing growth across regions.

History in Australia

21.10    In 1987, the ABS released experimental state estimates in the publication, Australian National Accounts: State Accounts. Since that time, there has been ongoing work to improve estimates of Gross State Product, and to expand the amount of information contained within the state accounts. Key milestones include:

1984Publication of occasional paper, State Accounts Australia: Issues and Experimental Estimates.
1987First release of annual publication, Australian National Accounts: State Accounts, 1985-86 (cat. no. 5220.0).
1993First release of quarterly publication, Australian National Accounts: State Accounts, December quarter 1992 (cat. no. 5242.0) – ceased.
1993-94Constant price estimates introduced using average 1989-90 prices for cat. nos. 5220.0 and 5242.0.
1997-98Implementation of 1993 SNA and introduction of chain volume estimates, to replace constant price estimates.
2006-07Introduction of GSP(P) estimates, with estimates no longer being treated as experimental.
2008-09Implementation of ANZSIC 2006 and the 2008 SNA.
2016-17Introduction of state capital stock and productivity estimates.