Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product

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Quarterly estimates of key economic flows in Australia, including gross domestic product (GDP), consumption, investment, income and saving

Reference period
December 2021

Key statistics

  • The Australian economy rose 3.4% in seasonally adjusted chain volume measures
  • Real net national disposable income rose 1.7%
  • The terms of trade fell 5.1%
  • Household saving ratio decreased to 13.6% from 19.8%

In this release

For a breakdown of key information from this and other recent economic releases, see ‘The Australian Economy: 12 things you need to know about the December quarter 2021’.

This quarter's National Accounts includes the following article:

Economic overview

Unless otherwise stated all figures are in seasonally adjusted, chain volume measures.

The reference year for chain volume measures is 2019-20.

For more information about the changes in this issue, please see revisions and changes on this page.

December key figures, percentage changes (a)

 Sep 20 to Dec 20Dec 20 to Mar 21Mar 21 to Jun 21Jun 21 to Sep 21Sep 21 to Dec 21Dec 20 to Dec 21
Chain volume GDP and related measures (b)
 GDP per capita (c)
 Gross value added market sector (d)
 Real net national disposable income5.53.52.4-
 GDP per hour worked-0.9-1.23.0-0.81.9
 Real unit labour costs6.60.3-0.1-0.7-0.3
 GDP chain price index (original)
 Terms of trade5.
Current price measures
 Household saving ratio14.213.611.819.813.6na

na not available
a. Change on preceding quarter, except for the last column which shows the change between the current quarter and the corresponding quarter of the previous year. Excludes Household saving ratio.
b. Reference year for chain volume measures and real income measures is 2019-20.
c. Population estimates are as published in the National, state and territory population (cat. no. 3101.0) and ABS projections.
d. ANZSIC divisions A to N, R and S. See Glossary - Market sector.

Australian economy rebounded 3.4% in the December quarter 2021

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose 3.4% this quarter as NSW, Victoria and the ACT came out of extended lockdowns in October 2021. This rise followed a fall of 1.9% in the previous quarter. GDP in the December quarter 2021 was 3.4% above December 2019 pre-pandemic levels. 

The emergence of the Omicron variant over the second half of December 2021 did not have a material impact on activity this quarter.

Private demand drives the rise in economic activity

Domestic final demand contributed 2.9 percentage points to GDP growth. Household final consumption expenditure contributed 3.2 percentage points, as restrictions on households and businesses were lifted. This was partly offset by investment, with both private (-0.3pp) and public (-0.1pp) investment detracting from growth. There was no contribution from government consumption this quarter, following a strong rise in September quarter 2021.

a. Contributions may not be additive due to rounding.

Household spending recovers as lockdown restrictions ease

Household spending rose 6.3% this quarter, recovering from the 4.8% fall in September and exceeding pre-pandemic levels for the first time.

Spending on services rose 6.3%. Hotels, cafes and restaurants (+24.3%), recreation and culture (+17.1%) and health (+7.9%) rose strongly as movement and trading restrictions lifted. Spending on services remains 3.9% below pre-pandemic levels, reflecting continued limitations on certain expenditure items such as travel.

Spending on goods rose 6.3%. This reflects the pent-up demand for items such as clothing and footwear, furnishings and recreational goods over the lockdown period where non-essential retail stores were closed. Spending on goods was 8.8% above pre-pandemic levels.

Jurisdictions coming out of lockdowns drive growth in domestic final demand

Domestic final demand was driven by NSW, Victoria and the ACT as they emerged from extended lockdowns. State final demand in these states rose 5.2%, compared to a fall of 0.1% for the rest of Australia. NSW recorded the strongest growth in state final demand (+6.7%), after spending the entirety of September quarter in lockdown.

Household spending was the main contributor to growth in the states coming out of lockdowns. Household spending in NSW, Victoria and the ACT increased 9.6%, compared to a 1.6% rise for the rest of Australia.

Domestic price pressures build

Supply chain disruptions and materials shortages continue to place upward pressure on domestic prices. The domestic final demand implicit price deflator rose 1.1%, the fastest rate since September 2008.

The terms of trade fell 5.1% this quarter, driven by strong growth in import prices (+5.8%) while export prices increased 0.4%. Upward pressure on import prices was driven by elevated global demand for goods and supply disruptions.

Operating surplus mixed across Mining and non-Mining industries

Gross operating surplus plus gross mixed income (GOSMI) rose 0.9%. Non-Mining operating surplus rose 2.9%, reflecting increased activity and price pressures across industries such as Manufacturing, Professional, Scientific and Technical Services and Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing. The rise was tempered by a decline in COVID-19 related subsidies paid to businesses.

Mining operating surplus fell 5.1% this quarter, partly reflecting lower prices for iron ore. Exports of mining commodities fell 2.9% in current price terms. 

Services industries drive an increase in gross value added

Gross value added rose 3.2%. Hospitality and other service-related industries recorded strong rises as lockdown restrictions wound down.

A bumper grain harvest drove a 9.0% rise in Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing gross value added. The impacts of this flowed through the supply chain, including in Wholesale Trade (+3.5%) and Transport, Postal and Warehousing (+3.0%).

Activity in 7 of the 19 industries remained below pre-pandemic levels.

Improvements in the labour market support growth in COE

COE rose 2.0% this quarter, reflecting both increased hours worked and employment.

Private COE rose 2.2%, rebounding from last quarter's 0.4% fall as trading and movement restrictions ended in several states.

Public COE rose 1.5%, reflecting the continued public sector COVID-19 response through vaccinations, hospitalisations and testing. Public COE is up 4.2% through the year.

Household saving ratio declines following reductions in government assistance

The household saving ratio declined from 19.8% to 13.6%, remaining above pre-pandemic levels.

The fall in household saving was driven by increased household spending, coupled with a decline in household income. Household gross disposable income fell 0.5%, driven by a decline in support payments from government following the end of lockdowns. This was partly offset by the rise in compensation of employees.


 % Change% Change% points contribution to growth in GDP
Sep 21 to Dec 21Dec 20 to Dec 21Sep 21 to Dec 21
Final consumption expenditure   
 General government0.15.1-
 Total final consumption expenditure4.44.03.2
Gross fixed capital formation   
  Ownership transfer costs-3.721.5-0.1
  Non-dwelling construction-1.23.3-0.1
  Machinery and equipment-1.58.8-0.1
  Cultivated biological resources8.36.6-
  Intellectual property products2.19.4-
 Total gross fixed capital formation-1.57.0-0.4
Changes in inventoriesnana0.9
Gross national expenditure3.85.03.7
Exports of goods and services-1.5-2.6-0.3
Imports of goods and services-
Statistical discrepancy (E)nana-0.1
Gross domestic product3.44.23.4

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
na not available

Final consumption expenditure (FCE) 4.4%

Gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) -1.5%

Changes in inventories

Exports and imports of goods and services


Income estimates are in seasonally adjusted current prices

 % Change% Change% points contribution to growth in GDP
Sep 21 to Dec 21Dec 20 to Dec 21Sep 21 to Dec 21
Compensation of employees2.05.30.9
Gross operating surplus   
 Private non-financial corporations0.49.60.1
 Other (a)
Gross mixed income3.011.70.3
Taxes less subsidies on production and imports29.273.72.0
Statistical discrepancy (I)nana-
Gross domestic product3.410.23.4

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
na not available
a. Includes Public non-financial corporations, Financial corporations, General government and Dwellings owned by persons.

Compensation of employees (COE) 2.0%

Gross operating surplus (GOS) 0.4%

Taxes less subsidies on production and imports 29.2%


 % Change% Change% points contribution to growth in GDP
Sep 21 to Dec 21Dec 20 to Dec 21Sep 21 to Dec 21
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing9.019.40.2
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services-1.0-0.1-
Wholesale Trade3.51.80.1
Retail Trade7.43.50.3
Accommodation and Food Services26.11.70.4
Transport, Postal and Warehousing3.07.40.1
Information Media and Telecommunications3.44.80.1
Financial and Insurance Services1.13.60.1
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services2.99.80.1
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services5.35.50.4
Administrative and Support Services5.111.60.2
Public Administration and Safety1.62.00.1
Education and Training0.41.4-
Health Care and Social Assistance5.87.10.4
Arts and Recreation Services8.26.70.1
Other Services15.47.40.2
Ownership of dwellings0.51.8-
Taxes less subsidies on products4.3-1.20.3
Statistical discrepancy (P)nana0.2
Gross domestic product3.44.23.4

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
na not available

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 9.0%

Mining -1.0%

Manufacturing 1.8%

Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services -1.0%

Construction 1.9%

Wholesale Trade 3.5%

Retail Trade 7.4%

Accommodation and Food Services 26.1%

Transport, Postal and Warehousing 3.0%

Information Media and Telecommunications 3.4%

Financial and Insurance Services 1.1%

Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services 2.9%

Professional, Scientific and Technical Services 5.3%

Administrative and Support Services 5.1%

Health Care and Social Assistance 5.8%

Arts and Recreation Services 8.2%

Other Services 15.4%

State and territory final demand

 Percentage change from Sep 21 to Dec 21
Final consumption expenditure         
 General government-0.61.6-
Gross fixed capital formation         
State final demand6.

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
a. Australia estimates relate to Domestic final demand.

Quarterly volume measures, seasonally adjusted

This image is a map of Australia by state/territory showing state final demand in quarterly volume terms..
This image is of a map of Australia showing quarterly volume measures of state final demand by state/territory. New South Wales' state final demand increased 6.7% for the quarter. Victoria's state final demand increased 3.7% for the quarter. Queensland's state final demand was unchanged for the quarter. South Australia's state final demand increased 0.3% for the quarter. Western Australia's state final demand increased 0.1% for the quarter. Tasmania's state final demand decreased 1.5% for the quarter. Northern Territory's state final demand decreased 1.8% for the quarter. Australian Capital Territory's state final demand increased 1.9% for the quarter.

New South Wales 6.7%

Victoria 3.7%

Queensland 0.0%

South Australia 0.3%

Western Australia 0.1%

Tasmania -1.5%

Northern Territory -1.8%

Australian Capital Territory 1.9%

Key tables

Key national accounts aggregates

Analytical expenditure aggregates

Expenditure aggregates

Expenditure on GDP

Household final consumption expenditure

Industry gross value added

Income from GDP

State final demand

Related releases

Monthly Household Spending Indicator

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Australian National Accounts: Finance and Wealth (cat. no. 5232.0)

The December quarter 2021 issue of Australian National Accounts: Finance and Wealth will be released on 31 March 2022. This publication provides quarterly estimates of the financial flows between sectors of the domestic economy and with the rest of the world. This publication also provides estimates of the financial assets and liabilities owned by each sector and various sub-sectors at the end of each quarter. Other key estimates within the publication include the demand for credit by non-financial domestic institutional sectors during the quarter, and their corresponding levels of credit outstanding.

Australian National Accounts: Input-Output Tables (cat. no. 5209.0.55.001)

The 2019-20 issue of Australian National Accounts: Input-Output Tables will be released on 27 May 2022. This product provides detailed information about the supply and use of products in the Australian economy and the structure of, and inter-relationships between, Australian industries. It presents information on input by industry and output by product group, use of domestic production, imports by industry and final demand categories, taxes and margins on supply by product, and industry and product concordances.

Australian National Accounts: Input-Output Tables (Product Details) (cat. no. 5215.0.55.001)

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Read more

Revisions and changes

Revisions in this issue

There are revisions in this issue due to the incorporation of more up-to-date data and concurrent seasonal adjustment. 

Suspension of trend estimates

Due to the impacts of COVID-19 on the economy, trend estimates for all series in the National Accounts have been suspended from June 2019 (inclusive). In the short term, this measurement will be significantly affected by changes to regular patterns in economic activity. If trend estimates were to be calculated without fully accounting for this unusual event, they would likely provide a misleading view of the underlying trend in the economy.

Extraordinary Annual Seasonal Review (EASR)

In the March quarter 2020 issue of Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product, the ABS advised that the method used to produce seasonally adjusted estimates would be changed from the ‘concurrent’ method to the ‘forward factors’ method for series with significant and prolonged impacts from COVID-19. 

Given the large changes in the Australian economy during the COVID-19 period and the continuing use of a forward factors approach to seasonal adjustment, the ABS has undertaken an extensive annual review of seasonally adjusted series. This review changed a range of time series treatments to ensure that the seasonal adjustment process continues to be less influenced by the large irregular movements over the past year. Revisions to most seasonally adjusted series are relatively minor, but larger than would be observed on a quarterly basis through the use of concurrent seasonal adjustment. 

For some series, the review has allowed a return to concurrent seasonal adjustment, where economic conditions are assessed to have returned to pre COVID-19 patterns. For the remaining series where this is not the case, forward factors have been calculated for the next 12 months through this annual process.

Data downloads

Changes to Excel file format on the ABS website

As advised last quarter, data downloads in this release have transitioned to .XLSX format. Previously released data has not changed.

Time series spreadsheets

Data files

Data cubes

Experimental food consumption estimates using scanner data

A datacube with experimental estimates of household final consumption expenditure on food compiled using supermarket scanner data has been included in this Data downloads section.

The ABS plans to replace existing estimates of food consumption with scanner data based estimates in September quarter 2022. If you have any questions or feedback about these changes, please contact National Accounts.

Experimental HFCE Food Estimates, current price and volume, COICOP Group, SUPC and IOPC, Original

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 5206.0.

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