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Government Finance Statistics, Australia

Statistics about finances of the general government and public non-financial corporations sectors for the various levels of government in Australia

Reference period
December 2019
Released
3/03/2020

Key statistics

  • Taxation revenue increased 13.3% to $145,623m.
  • General government sector revenue had a net operating balance of $1,947m. 
  • The GFS net lending(+)/borrowing(-) position was -$8,919m.
  • General government final consumption expenditure increased by $660m or 0.7%.

Main features

Key figures: all levels of general government, Government Finance Statistics (GFS)

In the December quarter 2019:

  • taxation revenue increased 13.3% to $145,623m
  • revenue exceeded expenses resulting in a net operating balance of $1,947m
  • the GFS net lending(+)/borrowing(-) position was -$8,919m.
     
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Table 1 - GFS key figures: all levels of government, original
Sep Qtr 2019Dec Qtr 2019Sep Qtr 2019 to Dec Qtr 2019
$m$m% change
Current Prices
Taxation revenue
General government128 585145 62313.3
Total revenue
General government163 946177 7068.4
Public non-financial corporations21 88222 0921.0
Total expenses
General government177 066175 578-0.7
Public non-financial corporations23 92824 7433.4
GFS Net operating balance
General government-13 1201 947. .
Public non-financial corporations-2 046-2 651. .
GFS Net lending(+)/borrowing(-)
General government-19 267-8 919. .
Public non-financial corporations-3 973-3 970. .

. . not applicable
 

Quarterly national accounts public sector measures - key figures

The table below includes the key public sector aggregates for the December quarter 2019 which will be included in the Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product (cat. no. 5206.0). The key figures shown include Government Final Consumption Expenditure for total general government and Gross Fixed Capital Formation for total general government and total public corporations, seasonally adjusted in current prices and chain volume terms.

In seasonally adjusted chain volume terms compared with the previous quarter:

  • general government final consumption expenditure increased by $660m or 0.7%, and is expected to contribute 0.1 percentage points to growth in the December quarter 2019 volume measure of GDP
  • general government gross fixed capital formation increased by $414m or 2.2%
  • public corporations gross fixed capital formation decreased by $512m or -8.6%
  • public gross fixed capital formation decreased by $96m or -0.4%, which will not detract significantly from growth in the December quarter 2019 volume measure of GDP.
     
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Table 2 - Quarterly national accounts public sector measures - key figures, seasonally adjusted

   Mar Qtr 2019Jun Qtr 2019Sep Qtr 2019Dec Qtr 2019Sep Qtr 2019 to Dec Qtr 2019
   
$m
$m
$m
$m
% change
Current Prices     
General government final consumption expenditure (a)     
 National - defence
8 031
8 414
8 789
8 645
–1.6
 National - non-defence
30 442
31 746
32 475
33 354
2.7
 Total national
38 473
40 160
41 264
41 999
1.8
 State and local
53 876
55 108
55 469
55 769
0.5
 Total general government final consumption expenditure
92 348
95 269
96 733
97 767
1.1
Public gross fixed capital formation     
 General government     
  National - defence
2 311
2 821
3 177
3 184
0.2
  National - non-defence
2 401
2 271
2 355
2 461
4.5
  Total national
4 712
5 092
5 533
5 645
2.0
  State and local
13 953
14 120
14 172
14 556
2.7
  Total general government
18 665
19 212
19 705
20 201
2.5
 Public corporations     
  Commonwealth
2 221
2 227
2 204
2 022
–8.3
  State and local
3 755
3 567
3 971
3 619
–8.9
  Total public corporations
5 976
5 794
6 175
5 641
–8.6
 Total public gross fixed capital formation
24 641
25 006
25 880
25 842
–0.1
Memorandum item     
 Net purchases of second-hand assets by public sector
486
861
555
778
np
Chain Volume (b)     
General government final consumption expenditure (a)     
 National - defence
7 799
8 125
8 431
8 264
–2.0
 National - non-defence
30 266
31 213
31 832
32 581
2.4
 Total national
38 064
39 338
40 263
40 845
1.4
 State and local
52 368
53 279
53 348
53 426
0.1
 Total general government final consumption expenditure
90 433
92 617
93 611
94 271
0.7
Public gross fixed capital formation     
 General government     
  National - defence
2 168
2 602
2 874
2 860
–0.5
  National - non-defence
2 385
2 252
2 345
2 439
4.0
  Total national
4 553
4 853
5 219
5 299
1.5
  State and local
13 494
13 589
13 608
13 943
2.5
  Total general government
18 047
18 443
18 828
19 242
2.2
 Public corporations     
  Commonwealth
2 166
2 165
2 133
1 957
–8.2
  State and local
3 620
3 409
3 781
3 446
–8.9
  Total public corporations
5 786
5 574
5 914
5 402
–8.6
 Total public gross fixed capital formation
23 833
24 017
24 741
24 645
–0.4
Memorandum item     
 Net purchases of second-hand assets by public sector
472
824
533
746
np
np not available for publication but included in totals where applicable, unless otherwise indicated
a. See paragraph 35 of the Methodology for the relationship between general government final consumption expenditure and GFS aggregates.
b. Reference year for chain volume measures is 2017-18.
 

Quarters presented in this release

This release presents quarterly government finance statistics on an accrual accounting basis. All tables presented are for the general government sector, with the exception of Table 2 which presents data for the public non-financial corporations sector.

Detailed quarterly GFS are released for the current financial year only, other than in the September quarter, when the quarters of the previous financial year are presented. Users requiring data for earlier periods should consult the annual publication Government Finance Statistics, Australia (cat. no. 5512.0). The latest issue (2017-18) was released on 29 April 2019.

Government Finance Statistics are part of the broader suite of macroeconomic accounts produced by the ABS. They share their basic concepts with the National Accounts and Balance of Payments. The conceptual framework is agreed internationally and published by the International Monetary Fund. Macroeconomic statistics are compiled to enable macroeconomic analysis and the standards may differ from accounting standards in some regards.

Bushfire activities

Recent bushfires around Australia have resulted in minor disruption to data collection activities during December quarter 2019. Quality assurance undertaken by the ABS has confirmed that these disruptions did not affect the quality of GFS estimates. Whilst it is expected that bushfire rebuilding and recovery works will impact on economic activity across the public sector, this activity was not significant in the December quarter. More information relating to measuring natural disasters in the Australian economy can be found in the following ABS Chief Economist Series paper: Measuring natural disasters in the Australian economy

Accounting standard changes

The following Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) standard changes have been introduced in government financial reporting for periods from 1 July 2019 onwards, leading to increased divergence in certain circumstances between economic statistics publications and government financial reporting:

  • Leases (AASB 16): The standard removes the distinction between operating and finance leases on the lessee side of financial reporting. The conceptual distinction between operating and finance leases still remains in economic statistics. GFS outputs are consistent with the historical treatment.
  • Revenue recognition (AASB 15 & 1058): The standard requires revenue to be recognised when performance obligations are met in certain circumstances. In GFS the change primarily affects grant revenue received by state and territory governments from the Commonwealth. Recognition of grant revenue in GFS remains consistent with the historical treatment which is based on when jurisdictions have access to the funding as reported by the Commonwealth.
  • Service Concession Arrangements (AASB 1059): The standard impacts ownership of non-financial assets. It applies a control concept to determine non-financial asset ownership. Non-financial asset ownership in GFS is determined based off a risk-reward concept consistent with the historical treatment which has been maintained in economic statistics.
     

Transactions related to visa application charges

In December 2015, the Commonwealth Government released the 2015-16 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) which included a reclassification of visa application charges (VAC). In MYEFO these charges are now treated as taxation revenue rather than sales of goods and services. This reclassification has been applied to the Government Finance Statistics (GFS), with no impact on total GFS revenue or the GFS net operating balance. The National Accounts statistics will maintain coherence with previously published data and classify this transaction as sales of goods and services. These treatments will remain in place until a review of the treatment of VAC across macroeconomic statistics has been completed.

Inquiries

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070, email client.services@abs.gov.au or email public.finance@abs.gov.au. The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS will handle any personal information that you provide to us.

Data downloads

Table 1 - Government Finance Statistics, Australia