Australian National Accounts: Finance and Wealth

This is not the latest release View the latest release

National, public and private corporations, government and household financial and capital accounts, and household balance sheets.

Reference period
March 2021

Key statistics

  • Household wealth continued to increase, rising $518.0b (4.3%) to a record $12,664.5b
  • Demand for credit was $53.4b, falling for the second consecutive quarter
  • Australia's net lending position increased $4.8b to $15.3b
  • Capital investment as a proportion of GDP rose to 22.3%

Main features

Financing resources and investment table

Financial market summary table

Flow of funds diagrams

National investment

National investment decreased $13.5b to $107.4b in the March quarter.

  • General government investment decreased by $1.2b to $21.0b driven by a decrease in both national and state and local government gross fixed capital formation.
  • Non-financial corporations' investment decreased $7.1b to $44.7b, driven by a decrease in private non-financial corporations gross fixed capital formation.
  • Household investment decreased $5.0b to $39.0b, down from $44.0b in the previous quarter.

Financial investment

Australia was a net lender of $15.3b, the eight consecutive quarter of net lending. The main contributors were a: 

  • $20.0b in net maturities of bonds held by ROW
  • $16.7b acquisition of ROW equities, driven by pension funds, other private non-financial corporations (OPNFC) and non-money market funds

Net maturities of authorised deposit taking institution (ADI) bonds led to a decrease in bond liabilities. Pension funds, OPNFC and non-money market funds continued to invest in overseas equities markets as economic conditions continued to improve.


Households' $4.0b net lending position was the result of a $34.1b acquisition of assets and a $30.0b incurrence of liabilities, driven by a: 

  • $19.3b transaction in net equity in pension funds
  • $15.5b transaction in deposits
  • partly offset by $26.6b loan borrowing

The deposits transactions reflects increased saving due to ongoing government income support packages. With improvements in the housing market households increased their loan borrowings. Net equity in pension funds transactions reflect improving labour market conditions as household contributions and drawdowns in superannuation stabilised following the conclusion of the government policy for early access to superannuation in December quarter 2020.

Non-financial corporations

Non-financial corporations' $7.6b net lending position was due to a $19.6b acquisition of financial assets and a $12.0b incurrence of liabilities. The acquisition in assets was driven by a: 

  • $16.1b acquisition of deposits
  • $6.6b in loan borrowing

Deposits increased as non-financial corporations continued to save. Businesses increased loan borrowings as the economic outlook improved.

General government

General government's $13.4b net borrowing position was due to a $3.2b acquisition of assets and $16.6b incurrence of liabilities and driven by:

  • $15.0b drawdown of deposit assets
  • $23.9b net issuance of bonds
  • $1.4b repayment of loans

Government drew down on deposits and issued debt to finance expenditure while reducing loan borrowings.

Demand for credit

Demand for credit table

Demand for credit was $53.4b in the March quarter, of which:

  • households borrowed $26.4b
  • general government borrowed $14.3b
  • other private non-financial corporations borrowed $11.2b

Credit market outstanding grew $26.7b (0.3%) while total revaluation losses were $26.7b. Revaluation losses of $36.2b on national general government bonds were due to rising 10 year bond yields and were partly offset by revaluation gains of $15.3b in the shares of private non-financial corporations.


Continued strength in the housing market boosted demand for new housing loans, particularly from owner-occupiers while investor loans recorded a second consecutive quarter of positive growth for the first time since December 2018. Short term borrowing fell as households repaid credit card debt incurred for retail spending during the December quarter. This was seen in:

  • $27.9b of long term loan borrowings
  • $1.3b repayment of short term loans

General government

General government's demand for credit was $14.3b in the March quarter. The national general government's funding requirements fell as pandemic-related support payments wound down during the quarter. This quarter funds were acquired through:

  • $23.6b in net bond issuances by national general government
  • partly offset by maturities of $8.1b in treasury notes

Private non-financial corporations

Demand for credit of other private non-financial corporations increased moderately in the March quarter as loan borrowings increased for the first time since March quarter last year, reflecting improved economic outlook. However, favourable operating conditions and government support has allowed many businesses to maintain high levels of deposits accumulated in 2020, limiting their need for external sources of funding. Funds were raised through:

  • loan borrowings of $6.9b
  • equity raising of $1.7b


Balance sheet

Financial assets


Household wealth rose 4.3% ($518.0b) to a new high of $12,664.5b at the end of the March quarter. This was driven by continued strength in the housing market and holding gains in financial assets.

Wealth per capita increased 4.1% ($19,494) to $492,055 per person.

Non-financial assets

Non-financial assets owned by households increased 5.1% ($434.9b), driven by a:

  • $434.6b rise in land and dwellings

Holding gains on land and dwellings show sustained growth in property prices, reflecting increasing housing market activity over the March quarter. Demand for property remains strong due to:

  • record low interest rates;
  • recovery in the labour market;
  • rising consumer confidence; and 
  • support through a range of government incentives.

Strong buyer demand in combination with low levels of stock on the market has maintained upward pressure on residential property prices.

Financial assets

Financial assets of households rose 1.8% ($113.2b), driven by:

  • $75.6b rise in superannuation reserves
  • $28.4b rise in shares and other equity

Growth in these assets, while strong, was weaker than last quarter, driven by revaluation gains, reflecting the positive performance of domestic and overseas share markets.

Transactions in superannuation ($23.4b) also contributed to the increase, reflecting continued employment growth over the quarter as economic conditions improved. There were no significant impacts of the early access to superannuation scheme, applications for which ended in December 2020.



Household liabilities increased 1.2% ($30.0b), driven by a: 

  • $21.2b rise in housing loans

Growth in housing loans reflects the increased activity in the property market over the quarter. The rise was mainly driven by owner-occupier loans, which increased $20.7b. Investor loans also contributed $3.2b to the rise, recording a second consecutive quarter of positive growth for the first time since December 2018.

This was partly offset by a

  • $1.3b reduction in short term debt

Credit cards were the biggest contributor to the fall in short term debt. Negative growth this quarter follows an increase in December, where households drew on credit cards to fund their expenditure for Black Friday and Christmas. The fall this quarter reflects a slowdown in household consumption following the holiday period, and the longer-term structural decline in this form of lending.

Private non-financial corporations

Financial assets


Private non-financial corporations increased their liabilities by $14.6b, driven by:

  • $8.8b loan borrowing
  • $3.1b issuance of debt securities, and
  • $2.4b raising of equity

Private non-financial corporations favoured debt over equity raising, as businesses resumed loan borrowing following three consecutive quarters of repayment. Increased borrowing reflects the improved business sentiment, following the disruptions experienced throughout 2020. This resulted in:

  • debt to equity ratio (adjusted for price changes) rising from 0.64 to 0.65

Despite the slight increase, the debt to equity ratio remains below pre-pandemic levels, as businesses have deleveraged to strengthen their balance sheet positions. Profitable business conditions aided by government support payments has allowed businesses to build substantial liquidity buffers, limiting their borrowing needs.

Financial corporations

Financial assets and liabilities

Authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs)

Financial assets


ADI’s share of funding from equities continued to increase after another strong quarter in the domestic share market.
In the March quarter, ADIs' funding compared to the previous quarter comprised of:

  • 13.7% from shares and other equity, an increase from 12.2% 
  • 6.9% from short term debt securities, an increase from 6.5%
  • 62.5% from deposits, an increase from 60.8% 
  • 10.5% from bonds, a decrease from 11.1% 

ADIs' funding from deposits rose $51.1b with a:

  • $15.8b increase from private non-financial corporations
  • $15.6b increase from households
  • $16.7b increase from rest of world

ADIs' funding from bonds fell by $28.5b, due to the maturity of existing debt securities and an increase in the bond yield, which devalued the remaining debt securities. This was offset by a $17.5b increase in one name paper, which ADIs issued to offset the matured bonds.

During the March quarter, ADIs sold bonds issued by national general government and securitisers to the RBA in return for deposit assets. In addition, they continued to unwind internal securitisation activity. This resulted in a:

  • $34.4b sell off of bonds issued by national general government
  • $37.5b sell off of bonds issued by securitisers
  • $98.1b acquisition in deposits accepted by the central bank

Pension (superannuation) funds

Financial assets


Total financial assets of pension (superannuation) funds increased $74.8b during the quarter, with:

  • $84.8b increase in shares and other equity
  • partly offset by a $4.3b decrease in debt securities
  • and $1.2b decrease in deposits

Positive conditions in the domestic and overseas share markets drove valuation gains of $63.6b. Pension funds invested an additional $21.2b in shares and other equity, particularly in rest of world and non-money market funds. Deposit levels continued to decrease as the requirements for liquidity subsided and deposit rates remained low.


National general government financial assets

National general government liabilities

State and local general government financial assets

State and local general government liabilities

General government

General government (national, and state and local) were net borrowers of $13.4b, driven by:

  • $22.0b issuance of bonds, and
  • $15.0b withdrawal of deposits, partly offset by a
  • $14.1b maturity of one name paper

The reduction in payments of major COVID-19 related support policies reduced the funding requirements of the government. This was reflected in lower issuance of treasury bonds and maturities of treasury notes. These factors have steadily brought the general government's net borrowing position down over the last two quarters. 


Capital investment

Figures in the capital investment section are in seasonally adjusted current prices.

Net lending (+) / borrowing (-)

Australia's net lending position increased by $2.2b to $18.1b this quarter. This was driven by a: 

  • $10.4b increase in national net savings

Partially offset by:

  • $5.4b increase in gross fixed capital formation
  • $2.6b increase in inventories

National net lending as a proportion of GDP rose this quarter driven by a rise in net saving for general government. The continued improvements in the economy led to further declines in COVID-19 related support packages.

  • General government net borrowing decreased by $19.9b to $30.3b
  • Financial corporations' net lending decreased by $4.9b to $5.9b
  • Non-financial corporations' net lending decreased by $4.2b to $14.7b
  • Households' net lending decreased by $3.4b to $26.8b 

Notable drivers for general government were: 

  • Primary income payable decreased driven by subsidies and social assistance benefits paid in cash to residents.
  • Primary income receivable increased due to an increase in taxes on production and imports.

Capital Investment

National capital investment increased to 22.3% as a proportion of GDP: 
Relative to GDP: 

  • Non-financial corporations' investment declined to 9.5%
  • General government investment remained flat at 4.0%
  • Household investment increased to 8.2%
  • Financial corporations' investment remained flat at 0.5%

Non-financial corporations' investment rose, despite falling slightly as a proportion of GDP. Increased investment in machinery and equipment was supported by government initiatives.
General government investment increased, despite staying flat as a proportion of GDP. This was driven by strength in state and local general government, reflecting elevated levels of investment in public infrastructure and non-dwelling projects.
Household investment rose driven by ownership transfer costs, new dwellings and home improvement investment. The government's HomeBuilder program supported increased housing investment.

Data downloads

Time series spreadsheets

Data files

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 5232.0

Revisions and changes

Revisions in this issue

There have been revisions to previously published aggregates due to:

  • Quality assurance reviews affecting the published aggregates after March quarter 2019, in addition to amendments to data collected in the ABS Survey of Financial Information, ABS Survey of International Investment and to data derived from Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) administrative data sets.
  • Revisions to the sectoral capital accounts are due to more up-to-date data being incorporated and concurrent seasonal adjustment.
Back to top of the page