Australian National Accounts: Finance and Wealth

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

Reference period
September 2021

Key statistics

  • Household wealth rose $590.0b (4.4%) to a record $13,918.5b 
  • Demand for credit was $126.3b, an increase of $49.6b 
  • Australia's net lending position fell $2.5b to $21.7b 
  • Capital investment as a proportion of GDP rose to 23.4%

Main features

Technical note

This quarter's Finance and Wealth includes the following technical note:

Financing resources and investment table

Financial market summary table

Flow of funds diagrams

National investment

National investment fell $11.0b to $120.4b in the September quarter.

  • General government investment decreased by $8.3b to $19.8b driven by a fall in gross fixed capital formation in both national and state and local general government.
  • Non-financial corporations' investment decreased by $2.6b to $53.0b, driven by a fall in gross fixed capital formation in both public and private non-financial corporations.
  • Household investment was flat, at $44.7b, driven by an increase in gross fixed capital formation offset by a fall in inventories.

Financial investment

Australia was a net lender of $21.7b, the tenth consecutive quarter of net lending. The main contributors were a: 

  • $61.0b acquisition in rest of world (ROW) equities, driven by pension funds, other private non-financial corporations (OPNFC) and non-money market funds.
  • offset by $23.4b purchase of listed equities by ROW, issued by OPNFCs and authorised deposit taking institutions(ADI).

Pension funds, OPNFC and non-money market funds continued to invest in overseas markets. Acquisition of Australian equity reflect strong investor demand as listed banks outperformed the domestic stock market this quarter.


Households' $65.9b net lending position was due to a $111.1b acquisition of assets, offset by a $45.2b incurrence of liabilities.
The acquisition of assets was lead by: 

  • $70.2 in deposits
  • $23.8b in net equity in pension funds

While liabilities were driven by:

  • $37.6b in loan borrowings

Deposits increased as households continued to save as state specific lockdowns limited spending opportunities. Acquisition of net equity in pension funds was due to continued improvement in the labour market and the increase in superannuation guarantee from 9.5% to 10%. Increased activity in the property market and the low interest rate environment saw strength in demand for housing loans by owner-occupiers and investors.

Non-financial corporations

Non-financial corporations' $14.0b net borrowing position was due to a $31.7b acquisition of financial assets offset by $45.7b incurrence of liabilities. Liabilities were driven by: 

  • $37.9b in equity raising
  • $8.7b in loan borrowing

Businesses sought to raise funds through equities markets with continued investor demand from rest of world. Loans from ADIs strengthened as private businesses borrowed funds as industries recover from the impacts of the pandemic.

General government

General government's $46.2b net borrowing position was due to a $17.5b acquisition in assets offset by $63.8b incurrence of liabilities. Liabilities were driven by:

  • $23.5b net issuance of bonds
  • $22.0b in loan borrowings

Loan borrowing increased to fund state and local general government expenditure in response to COVID-19 outbreaks and subsequent state lockdowns. Bond issuance by the national general government also strengthened as the Commonwealth government increased social assistance benefits and health spending associated with the COVID-19 outbreaks and state lockdowns.

Demand for credit

Demand for credit table

Demand for credit was $126.3b in the September quarter, of which:

  • general government borrowed $46.9b
  • households borrowed $37.4b
  • other private non-financial corporations borrowed $33.1b

Credit market outstanding grew $141.1b (1.7%) of which $14.8b was revaluation gains. Private non-financial investment funds outperformed the broader stock market as their shares experienced $10.0b in revaluation gains.

General government

The general government's funding requirements grew in the September quarter as the NSW and Victorian state governments supported their economies through lockdown mainly in the form of business support payments. The Commonwealth government also supported household incomes through increased social assistance benefits such as COVID-19 Disaster Payments. These funds were raised by:

  • $25.3b bond issuance by national general government
  • $22.2b in loan borrowings by state and local general governments


Demand for housing credit remained high in the September quarter supported by low interest rates and continued strength in the housing market despite a dampening impact from lockdowns in NSW, Victoria and ACT on auction volumes and property listings. Households repaid $4.2b in short term loans as consumer spending fell amid COVID-19 restrictions. This resulted in:

  • $41.7b of long term loan borrowings
  • partly offset by $4.2b repayment of short term loans

Private non-financial corporations

Businesses continued to favour equity raising attracting strong investment from non-residents. Growth in business credit picked up noticeably in the September quarter driven by loan borrowing from ADIs as some firms have sought to position themselves in the low interest rate environment for an expected recovery in economic activity once COVID-19 restrictions ease. Funds of other private non-financial corporations were sourced through:

  • equity raising of $31.4b
  • loan borrowings of $6.7b


Balance sheet

Financial assets


Household wealth rose 4.4% ($590.0b) to a record $13,918.5b at the end of the September quarter. Household wealth was driven by continued strength in the housing market and increased transactions in deposits and superannuation assets.

Wealth per capita increased 4.3% ($22,177) to $540,179 per person.

Non-financial assets

Non-financial assets owned by households increased 5.0% ($480.0b), driven by a:

  • $473.4b rise in land and dwellings

Holding gains on land and dwellings reflected the sustained growth in property prices due to low interest rates and demand being greater than the level of housing stock on the market. 

Financial assets

Financial assets of households rose 2.5% ($158.6b), driven by:

  • $73.3b rise in deposits
  • $47.5b rise in superannuation reserves
  • $24.4b rise in shares and other equity

The increase in deposits is the strongest growth since December quarter 2008 and in line with strong household savings. State specific COVID-19 restrictions curbed household spending while social benefits remained strong. Households also received larger tax refunds due to the backdating of the October 2020 personal income tax bracket adjustments to 1 July 2020.

Transactions in superannuation ($27.8b) drove the increase in reserves, reflecting continued employment growth as well as the increase in the super guarantee from 9.5% to 10%. Revaluations drove further increases in superannuation reserves and shares and other equity, reflective of some positive market conditions.



Household liabilities increased 1.8% ($48.6b), driven by: 

  • $31.4b rise in housing loans

Growth in housing loans reflects the continued activity in the property market. The rise was mainly driven by owner-occupier loans, which increased $28.0b. Investor loans also contributed $3.4b to the rise, recording a fourth consecutive quarter of positive growth. 

This was offset by a:

  • $4.2b reduction in short term loans

Lowers levels of spending contributed to the fall in short loans as well as the continued trend of households reducing the use of credit cards. 

Private non-financial corporations

Financial assets


Private non-financial corporations demand for credit of $48.0b, was driven by:

  • $37.9b raising of equity, and
  • $8.7b borrowing of loans, partly offset by
  • $4.0b maturity of debt securities

Private non-financial corporations favoured equity raising over debt issuance, with increased funding sourced from overseas investors. This resulted in:

  • debt to equity ratio (adjusted for price changes) remaining low at 0.67

The debt to equity ratio is at its lowest level since March 2005, as businesses have deleveraged to strengthen their balance sheet positions. Businesses have maintained strong liquidity buffers through continued deposit growth throughout the pandemic, which was partly offset by strong dividend payouts this quarter.

Financial corporations

Financial assets and liabilities

Authorised deposit-taking institutions (ADIs)

Financial assets


ADIs continued to sell bonds issued by national general government and central borrowing authorities to the RBA in return for deposit assets as part of the RBA's Bond Purchase Program. The increase in ADIs' deposit assets were partially offset by the unwinding of repurchase agreements (repos) entered into with the RBA. This resulted in a:

  • $46.4b acqusition in deposits accepted by the central bank
  • $6.5b sell off of bonds issued by national general government
  • $3.8b sell off of bonds issued by central borrowing authorities
  • $31.5b acquisition of bonds issued by securitisers

ADI's share of funding from deposit increased this quarter following strong deposits growth from the household sector. In the September quarter, 
ADIs' funding composition compared to the previous quarter comprised of:

  • 63.3% from deposits, an increase from 62.8%
  • 10.0% from bonds, a decrease from 10.5%
  • 7.3% from short term debt securities, an increase from 6.9%
  • 14.5% from equities, an increase from 14.3%


ADIs' funding from deposits grew $83.5b with a:

  • $72.1b increase from households
  • $6.3b increase from state and local general government
  • offset by a $7.5b decrease from pension funds

Pension (superannuation) funds

Financial assets


Total financial assets of pension (superannuation) funds increased 2.0% ($55.8b), with:

  •  $72.9b increase in shares and other equity
  •  $8.4b decrease in deposits

Favourable conditions in the domestic and overseas share markets drove valuation gains of $36.1b. Pension funds invested an additional $36.8b in shares and other equity, particularly in rest of world. Deposit levels decreased after the increase in June quarter 2021 as pension funds allocated excess funds to equities.


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 $46.2b, driven by:

  • $25.5b in loan borrowings, and
  • $23.9b issuance of bonds

Loan liabilities of state and local general government increased as state governments introduced support payments to households and businesses affected by COVID-19 lockdowns. Similarly, treasury bond issuance increased to fund support payments to households and health spending in response to the COVID-19 Delta variant outbreak.


Capital investment

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

Net lending (+) / borrowing (-)

Australia's net lending position increased by $1.1b to $23.7b this quarter. This was driven by a: 

  • $6.6b decrease in change in inventories 

Partially offset by:

  • $2.8b decrease in national net savings
  • $2.3b increase in gross fixed capital formation

National net lending as a proportion of GDP rose this quarter driven largely by a rundown in private non-farm inventories.

  • Households' net lending increased by $27.1b to $54.1b
  • Financial corporations' net lending decreased by $0.1b to $5.2b 
  • Non-financial corporations' net lending decreased by $0.8b to $8.7b
  • General government net borrowing increased by $23.3b to $43.3b

Notable drivers for general government and households were: 

  • General government net savings decreased strongly this quarter due to a decrease in individual income taxes and an increase in income payable. Social assistance benefits in cash to residents and subsidies payable drove the increase in income payable due to increased COVID-19 disaster payments, JobSaver and other COVID-19 business support programs. 
  • Household net saving rose driven by increased social assistance benefits and a fall in household final consumption due to COVID-19 restrictions across a number of states. 

Capital Investment

National capital investment increased to 23.4% as a proportion of GDP:
Relative to GDP: 

  • Non-financial corporations' investment increased to 10.1%
  • Household investment increased to 8.6%
  • Financial corporations' investment increased slightly at 0.6%
  • General government investment was flat at 4.2%


Non-financial corporations' investment rose, driven by increased investment in private non-dwelling construction.
Household investment rose driven by ownership transfer costs, new dwellings and home improvement investment. The government's HomeBuilder program supported increased housing investment. and households continued to invest in home improvements. 
General government was flat as a proportion of GDP but investment fell driven by weakness in state and local general government reflecting a fall in new building, road and rail investment in lock down affected states.

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

This issue contains revisions to the original estimates of the capital accounts back to September quarter 1988 due to the incorporation of revisions to GDP and its components from the 2019-20 annual supply and use tables and the income accounts.
This issue incorporates the new derivative data from the Economic ad Financial Statistics (EFS) collection for authorised deposit taking institutions (ADIs) and registered financial corporations (RFCs). The derivative data will only impact the financial accounts and financial balance sheets of the national accounts.
The implementation of the EFS data will result in changes to both gross positions and flows of ADI and RFC derivatives, and changes to the counterparty sectoral distributions. It will also see the introduction of estimates for two new counterparty sectors.

  • Private non-financial investment funds, and
  • The household sector (reflecting the use of derivatives by family trusts to hedge interest rates).

A technical note discussing the changes can be found here.

Post release changes

16/12/21 A correction was made to the Key Statistics regarding Household wealth.

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