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Gross fixed capital formation

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

Dwelling and non-dwelling construction

21.102    This includes dwelling and non-dwelling construction, both for the public and private sectors. Fixed physical capital is allocated directly to the state in which it resides.

21.103    Private sector estimates are sourced from the Building Activity Survey (BACS); Engineering Construction Survey (ECS); and the publication. Private New Capital Expenditure and Expected Expenditure, Australia. Public sector capital formation is sourced from Government Finance Statistics.

Machinery and equipment

21.104    Machinery and equipment is allocated to the state in which the equipment is based. This is sourced from the ABS publication, Private New Capital Expenditure and Expected Expenditure, Australia, as well as GFS data.

21.105    Very large items such as weapons systems and commercial aircraft are not allocated to a single state. These are for the protection of all Australian citizens and are allocated to states based on ERP shares. A similar treatment is used for civil aircraft.

Cultivated biological resources

21.106    Cultivated biological resources are allocated to state based on location of livestock and orchards. This is sourced from ABS' agricultural surveys and Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) data.

Intellectual property products

21.107    Intellectual property products include computer software, research and development, and mineral exploration as well as entertainment, literary and artistic originals. These are allocated to the states as follows:

  • mineral exploration – is allocated to the state in which the exploration occurs and is sourced from the ABS publication, Mineral and Petroleum Exploration, Australia;
  • research and development – is allocated to the location of the primary research institution using data from the publication, Research and Experimental Development, Businesses, Australia;
  • computer software – is allocated based on primary location of purchase or production, largely based upon historic weights; and
  • entertainment, literary and artistic originals – are allocated to state using estimated resident population.

International trade

21.108    International trade relates to imports and exports of goods and services of a state with a destination or source outside Australia.  This is divided into merchandise goods trade, and services trade. In the state accounts, merchandise goods trade is produced annually and quarterly, and services trade is produced annually.

Trade in merchandise goods

21.109    Trade in merchandise goods measures goods that cross the Australian customs barrier. These are allocated to state based on the location of where the customs barrier is crossed. If the goods are transported to another state this is treated as an interstate re-export, which is included in the balancing item.  In the national accounts, trade in goods is produced on a Balance of payments (BOP) basis which adjusts for goods which are not captured sufficiently in customs data.

International trade in services

21.110    International trade in services is collected as part of the ABS publication, International Trade in Services by Country, by State and by Detailed Services Category. State allocation is based on the state location of units sampled as part of this survey.

Household final consumption expenditure – sources and methods

21.111    Quarterly household final consumption is largely allocated to states using the top-down approach by using indicators and price deflators. It is compiled according to the COICOP classification. Dwelling rent is the main exception to this and is compiled using the bottom-up approach using data from Census of Population and Housing every five years. Adjustments for interstate and international household consumption are also made.

21.112    Annual estimates for all COICOP categories are produced as the sum of four quarters, with differences in annual and quarterly estimates due mostly to timing differences.

Dwelling rent

21.113    Imputed and actual rent of owner-occupiers are obtained by multiplying the stock of dwellings by the average rent paid by state. Splits between owner-occupied and imputed rent are estimated using data from the Census of Population and Housing. The stocks of dwellings and the rents paid for dwellings by state are obtained from the Population Census. Imputed rent paid for owner-occupied dwellings is calculated by matching average rents reported in the Population Census for detailed level of region and housing type and multiplying this by numbers of owner-occupied dwellings.

21.114    For inter-censal and post-Census periods, the dwelling stock is moved forward using the number of dwelling unit completions by state from Building Activity, Australia. This is then modified by a factor to take account of other changes to the stock of dwellings. Values for average rent paid is updated using data from Housing Occupancy and Costs; industry reports from Australian Property Monitors and the Real Estate Institute of Australia; and the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for privately-owned dwelling rents. This methodology is undertaken quarterly with annual estimates produced by summing quarterly estimates.

Adjustments for interstate and international household consumption

21.115    Household consumption undertaken overseas or interstate by state residents is added to total HFCE.  Consumption by non-state residents (international and interstate) are removed from total state HFCE. This is to ensure that HFCE is representative of state resident household consumption. This is estimated in two parts, using net visitor numbers for interstate as well as international trade in services estimates:

  1. International net expenditure is split to states using data from the ABS publication, International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia; and
  2. Interstate net expenditure is based on net interstate visitor day and night estimates which are produced by Tourism Research Australia (TRA). This is combined with average day and night rates of expenditure to produce a value.

21.116    Both these adjustments are undertaken quarterly with annual estimates produced by summing quarterly estimates.

Quarterly Indicator series, intermittent benchmarks, and volume deflators.

21.117    The table below lists the three elements required to produce state indicators for HFCE.

Table 21.28 HFCE Data sources– By COICOP category
COICOP categoryQuarterly indicator seriesIntermittent benchmarkDeflator
Food and non-alcoholic beverages
  Retail Trade, AustraliaRetail and Wholesale Industries, Australia: Commodities, 2005-06Weighted average of components from the CPI Food and non-alcoholic Beverages group. 
Alcoholic beverages
 Liquor retailers
  Retail Trade, AustraliaRetail and Wholesale Industries, Australia: Commodities, 2005-06Weighted average of components from the CPI Alcoholic beverages sub-group.
 Other liquor
  Business Indicators, AustraliaRetail and Wholesale Industries, Australia: Commodities, 2005-06Weighted average of components from the CPI Alcoholic beverages sub-group.
Cigarettes and Tobacco
  Business Indicators, Australia and imports from International Trade in Goods and Services, AustraliaHousehold Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2009-10CPI for Tobacco.
Clothing and footwear
  Retail Trade, AustraliaRetail and Wholesale Industries, Australia: Commodities, 2005-06 (cat. no. 8624.0)Weighted average of components from the CPI Clothing and footwear group.
Electricity, gas and other fuels
  Electricity and gas from revenue information from major retail suppliers in each state.Household Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2009-10Electricity, gas and other fuels revalued using relevant components of the CPI Utilities sub-group.
Furnishings and household equipment
  Retail Trade, AustraliaRetail and Wholesale Industries, Australia: Commodities, 2005-06Weighted CPI for Furniture and household equipment
Health
 Medicines, medical aids and therapeutic appliances
  Retail Trade, Australia - Medical aids and therapeutic appliances GFS for Pharmaceutical Benefits SchemeHousehold Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2009-10CPI for Pharmaceutical products.
 Hospital, ambulance services and nursing home care  
  Department of Health (DoH) and Private Health Insurance Administration Council (PHIAC)n.a.CPI Health group
Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels
 Imputed and actual rentals for housing
  See paragraph 21.93See details aboveQuantity revaluation
 Other services related to the dwelling
  Estimated resident populationHousehold Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2009-10CPI for Water and sewerage
Purchase of vehicles
  Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries' VFACTSn.a.CPI for Motor vehicles.
Operation of Vehicles
 Fuel
  Australian Petroleum Statistics, published by the Bureau of Resource and Energy Economics (BREE)Household Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2009-10CPI on Automotive fuel.
 All other motoring goods
  Australian Petroleum Statistics, published by the Bureau of Resource and Energy Economics (BREE)Household Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2009-10CPI Private motoring sub-group.
Transport
 Public road and rail and water transport
  GFS data from public transport authoritiesn.a.Weighted CPI for Rail, water and road transport
 Air transport
  Revenue data provided by the major airlines.Household Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2009-10CPI for Air transport
Communication
 Postal Services
  Data from Australia PostHousehold Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2009-10Quantity revalued using Australia Post data
 Telecommunication services
  Revenue data obtained from the major service providersHousehold Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2009-10CPI for Telecommunication equipment and services.
Recreation and Culture
 Audio visual, photographic and data processing equipment and accessories
  Retail Trade, AustraliaRetail and Wholesale Industries, Australia: Commodities, 2005-06CPI Audio, visual and computing equipment and services sub-group
 Recreational items and equipment
  Retail Trade, AustraliaRetail and Wholesale Industries, Australia: Commodities, 2005-06Weighted components for CPI
 Sporting and recreational services
  Estimated resident populationHousehold Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2009-10CPI for Sports participation
 Cultural and entertainment services
  Retail Trade, AustraliaHousehold Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2009-10CPI Recreation and culture group
Gambling
  GFS taxes on gamblingHousehold Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2009-10All groups CPI (excluding medical and hospital services)
Education
 Tertiary education
  Receipts from the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS)Household Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2009-10CPI for Education
 Post-secondary education
  Estimated resident populationHousehold Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2009-10CPI for Education<
 Primary, secondary education and preschool
  Estimated resident populationHousehold Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2009-10CPI for Education
Hotels, catering and restaurants
 Catering
  Retail Trade, Australia and Business Indicators, AustraliaRetail and Wholesale Industries, Australia: Commodities, 2005-06Components from the CPI
 Accommodation
  Tourist Accommodation, Australian.a.CPI for Domestic holiday travel and accommodation.
Miscellaneous goods and services
 Personal care
  Retail Trade, Australia and Business Indicators, AustraliaHousehold Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2009-10CPI Furnishings, household equipment and services group
 Personal effects
  Retail Trade, AustraliaRetail and Wholesale Industries, Australia: Commodities, 2005-06Relevant components from the CPI
Finance and Insurance
 Insurance
  Estimated resident populationHousehold Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2009-10Motor vehicle insurance CPI, Wage Price Index (LPI) for workers compensation and CPI all groups for all other.
 Finance
  Estimated resident populationHousehold Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2009-10All groups CPI
Other Services
 Personal outlays on miscellaneous services
  Estimated resident populationHousehold Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2009-10Relevant components of the CPI and Wage Price Index (LPI)
 NPISH
  Estimated resident populationHousehold Expenditure Survey, Australia: Summary of Results, 2009-10Relevant components of the CPI and Wage Price Index (LPI)