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
March 2023

Key statistics

  • The Australian economy rose 0.2% in seasonally adjusted chain volume measures
  • In nominal terms, GDP rose 2.1%
  • The terms of trade rose 2.8%
  • Household saving ratio decreased to 3.7% from 4.4%

In this release

Economic overview

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

The reference year for chain volume measures is 2020-21.

March quarter key figures, percentage changes (a)
 Dec 21 to Mar 22Mar 22 to Jun 22Jun 22 to Sep 22Sep 22 to Dec 22Dec 22 to Mar 23Through the year, Mar 22 to Mar 23
Chain volume GDP and related measures (b)
 GDP per capita (c)
 Gross value added market sector (d)
 Real net national disposable income2.40.9-
 GDP per hour worked0.5-3.00.1-1.4-0.3-4.6
 Real unit labour costs-2.8-1.12.1-0.11.0
 GDP chain price index (original)
 Terms of trade9.84.0-
Current price measures
 Household saving ratio11.

na not available
a. Change on preceding quarter; last column shows the change between the current quarter and the corresponding quarter of the previous year.
b. Reference year for chain volume measures and real income measures is 2020-21.
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 grew 0.2% in the March quarter 2023

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose 0.2%, the weakest result since the COVID-19 Delta lock-down contraction in September 2021. Domestic demand was the primary contributor to GDP growth, while net trade detracted from growth this quarter (stronger increase in imports relative to exports). 

Services prices accelerated while goods prices eased

Nominal GDP rose 2.1%. The GDP implicit price deflator (IPD) increased 1.9% driven by a rise in the terms of trade and elevated domestic prices. 

The terms of trade rose 2.8% as the fall in export prices (-1.4%) was offset by the fall in import prices (-4.0%). Lower crude oil prices, improved supply chains and the appreciation of the Australian dollar contributed to the fall in import prices. Export prices were led by reduced pricing for rural goods and mining commodities. Meat prices declined in line with improved global supply, while prices for liquified natural gas (LNG) and coal fell, which was consistent with reduced global demand from the milder Northern Hemisphere winter. Higher iron ore prices partly offset the fall as increased demand coincided with the reopening of China’s borders.

The domestic final demand IPD rose 1.1%, and 6.2% through the year. Services inflation strengthened as skilled labour shortages and the tight labour market placed upwards pressure on labour costs. Goods inflation moderated as prices for capital goods eased in line with import prices for materials, while consumption goods declined with demand for discretionary goods amidst the high inflationary environment. 

Domestic demand drove growth

Domestic final demand contributed 0.5 percentage points to GDP growth, following subdued demand in December quarter 2022. 

Capital investment drove demand and contributed 0.4 percentage points to GDP, with strength in machinery and equipment and non-dwelling construction on both private and public sector projects. 

Consumption expenditure by households and government were subdued, with a combined contribution of 0.1 percentage points to GDP. Household consumption (+0.2%) slowed as discretionary spending fell below essential spending for the first time since the Delta-variant lockdowns. Government expenditure grew 0.1%.

Net trade detracted 0.2 percentage points from GDP, as a 3.2% rise in imports offset a smaller 1.8% increase in exports.

Changes in inventories recorded a build-up of $2.4 billion in March quarter, matching the build-up in the December quarter, and did not contribute to growth. Wholesale trade inventories led the build-up and reflected backlogged imports of capital and consumption goods delayed at ports for biosecurity screening. 

a. Contributions may not be additive due to rounding.

Exports increased for the fourth consecutive quarter

Exports of goods and services rose 1.8%, driven by services exports. Services exports rose 7.7%, reflecting the continued recovery in education related travel as more international students returned to Australia for on campus learning. 

Imports of goods and services rose 3.2%. Imports of goods (+3.3%) led the rise with increased imports of telecommunications equipment following manufacturing disruptions in China in December quarter. Motor vehicles and machinery and equipment also contributed to the rise, with some of these imports held in inventories due to biosecurity cleaning requirements. Imports of services (+3.1%) also contributed to the rise, a reflection of Australians travelling to neighbouring countries. 

a. Contributions may not be additive due to rounding.

Business investment rose while housing investment declined

Private investment rose 1.4%. Business investment increased 3.4%, particularly in purchases of machinery and equipment following recent falls, driven by the manufacturing, transport, and mining industries. Non-dwelling construction (+2.4%) also rose with improved materials supply allowing work on major building and engineering projects to continue. 

Housing investment (-2.0%) fell, driven by ownership transfer costs (-5.0%), reflecting lower levels of property market activity following recent interest rate rises. Dwelling investment (-1.2%) fell as demand for renovation work declined. New and used dwelling activity also fell despite an existing pipeline of work, as ongoing labour shortages caused project delays and extended completion times.

a. Contributions may not be additive due to rounding.

Households cut back on discretionary spending

Household spending rose 0.2%, the weakest quarterly result since the fall recorded during the COVID-19 Delta-variant lockdowns in September 2021. Growth in essential spending increased (+1.1%), while discretionary spending (-1.0%) fell, as cost of living pressures exhausted residual post-lockdown demand. 

Essential spending was led by electricity, gas and other fuel (+5.2%) due to the ending of Queensland's Cost of Living Rebate, which saw increased government consumption on behalf of households in the December quarter. The warmer end of summer also contributed to increased electricity consumption. Growth in rent and other dwelling services (+0.5%) and insurance and other financial services (+0.5%) remained stable but emerged among the largest contributors to total expenditure this quarter, as households scaled back on other consumption categories amidst cost of living pressures. Food consumption (+0.4%) moderated from supply disruptions experienced in the second half of 2022. 

Transport services (+4.0%), hotels, cafes and restaurants (+0.2%) and clothing and footwear (+0.2%), were the only discretionary spending categories to record rises, though all at relatively weak growth following post-lockdown strength. 

Growth in COE continued in the tight labour market

Compensation of employees (COE) rose 2.4% as tight labour market conditions persisted in the March quarter. Sustained wages and employment growth translated to a 10.8% through the year rise in COE, the largest since June 2007.

Strength in private COE (+2.4%) reflected skilled labour shortages adding pressure to wages to attract and retain employees. Strength in public COE (+2.5%) resulted from updated enterprise agreements and government policies which introduced higher wage rates to address cost of living pressures. 

Operating surplus driven by non-mining industries

Gross operating surplus rose 3.0%, driven by private non-financial corporations (+4.0%) as eased supply chains and falls in petroleum prices saw lower operating expenses for non-mining industries. Financial corporations operating surplus (-0.2%) fell as loan and deposit balance growth weakened and banks' margins narrowed due to increased competition in the household deposit market. Dwellings owned by persons operating surplus (+2.7%) grew at its highest rate since December quarter 2009, as rental prices grew more than operating expenses. 

Mining detracted 1.0 percentage points from total growth in gross operating surplus plus gross mixed income (GOSMI), in line with decreased exports and lower pricing for coal and LNG. Wholesale trade and manufacturing were the main contributors to growth in non-mining GOSMI. Lower operating expenses contributed to higher profits in wholesale trade. Manufacturing profits were boosted by improved production conditions and increased sales, particularly in food and primary metal products.

a. Contributions may not be additive due to rounding.

Household saving ratio declined to its lowest rate since 2008

The household saving ratio declined from 4.4% to 3.7%, the lowest level since June 2008. Savings fell as the rise in household consumption outweighed a softer rise in gross disposable income.

Household gross income rose 1.7% driven by labour income (+2.3%). Non-labour income also grew as interest received on deposits rose 13.0%.

Household income payable rose 4.4%. Income tax rose 3.3%, aligned with growth in wages, employment and hours worked plus higher returns on investment income. Interest payable on dwellings rose 11.5%, reflecting further interest rate rises over the quarter.

a. Contributions may not be additive due to rounding.

Total industry production softened

Gross value added (GVA) rose modestly by 0.2%, as results were mixed across industries. 

Manufacturing drove the rise (+2.4%) as food product manufacturing caught up from the weather related delays in production suffered in the December quarter. Metal product manufacturing also contributed to the rise with increased global demand for non-monetary gold. 

Electricity, gas, water and waste services (+1.5%) rose as a warmer than usual end to the summer saw increased electricity usage.

Rental, hiring and real estate services (-1.6%) fell driven by reduced demand for commercial and residential real estate services, aligned with slowdown in the property market. 

Professional, scientific, and technical services (-1.2%) fell as demand for engineering and consulting services further eased from record high levels.

Mining (-0.3%) fell driven by iron ore mining (-0.5%) as shutdowns and maintenance of mines prevented production. Despite the fall, exports of iron ore continued through draw downs of inventories built up during recent quarters of high production volumes. 


 Dec 22 to Mar 23Mar 22 to Mar 23Dec 22 to Mar 23
 % change% change% points contribution to GDP growth
Final consumption expenditure
 General government0.1-0.1-
 Total final consumption expenditure0.22.40.1
Gross fixed capital formation
  Ownership transfer costs-5.0-22.0-0.1
  Non-dwelling construction2.49.50.1
  Machinery and equipment6.07.20.2
  Cultivated biological resources-1.67.5-
  Intellectual property products1.01.4-
 Total gross fixed capital formation1.81.50.4
Changes in inventoriesnana-
Gross national expenditure0.61.40.5
Exports of goods and services1.810.80.4
Imports of goods and services3.25.1-0.6
Statistical discrepancy (E)nana-0.1
Gross domestic product0.22.30.2

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

Final consumption expenditure (FCE) 0.2%

Gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) 1.8%

Changes in inventories

Exports and imports of goods and services


Income estimates are in seasonally adjusted current prices

 Dec 22 to Mar 23Mar 22 to Mar 23Dec 22 to Mar 23
 % change% change% points contribution to GDP growth
Compensation of employees2.410.81.1
Gross operating surplus
 Private non-financial corporations4.013.50.9
 Other (a)
Gross mixed income-3.8-4.0-0.3
Taxes less subsidies on production and imports1.53.40.1
Statistical discrepancy (I)nana-
Gross domestic product2.19.22.1

- 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) 2.4%

Gross operating surplus (GOS) 3.0%

Taxes less subsidies on production and imports 1.5%


 Dec 22 to Mar 23Mar 22 to Mar 23Dec 22 to Mar 23
 % change% change% points contribution to GDP growth
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing-0.2-6.0-
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services1.5-0.2-
Wholesale Trade1.3--
Retail Trade-0.5-0.4-
Accommodation and Food Services0.719.2-
Transport, Postal and Warehousing0.410.3-
Information Media and Telecommunications1.78.7-
Financial and Insurance Services-0.7-
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services-1.6-0.9-
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services-1.2-0.1-0.1
Administrative and Support Services-1.44.1-0.1
Public Administration and Safety0.81.7-
Education and Training0.41.5-
Health Care and Social Assistance1.12.80.1
Arts and Recreation Services-0.74.3-
Other Services1.25.0-
Ownership of dwellings0.51.8-
Taxes less subsidies on products-0.9-2.3-0.1
Statistical discrepancy (P)nana0.1
Gross domestic product0.22.30.2

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

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing -0.2%

Mining -0.3%

Manufacturing 2.4%

Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services 1.5%

Construction 0.2%

Wholesale Trade 1.3%

Retail Trade -0.5%

Accommodation and Food Services 0.7%

Transport, Postal and Warehousing 0.4%

Information Media and Telecommunications 1.7%

Financial and Insurance Services 0.0%

Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services -1.6%

Professional, Scientific and Technical Services -1.2%

Administrative and Support Services -1.4%

Health Care and Social Assistance 1.1%

Arts and Recreation Services -0.7%

Other Services 1.2%

State and territory final demand

State and territory final demand, percentage changes (a)
  Dec 22 to Mar 23
Final consumption expenditure
 General government0.5-0.3-0.8-
Gross fixed capital formation
State final demand0.

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
a. Change on preceding quarter
b. Australia estimates relate to Domestic final demand.

Quarterly volume measures, seasonally adjusted

Loading map...

The map shows quarterly volume measures of state final demand by state/territory.
New South Wales' state final demand increased 0.4% for the quarter.
Victoria's state final demand increased 0.7% for the quarter.
Queensland's state final demand increased 0.4% for the quarter.
South Australia's state final demand increased 0.1% for the quarter.
Western Australia's state final demand increased 0.8% for the quarter.
Tasmania's state final demand decreased 0.2% for the quarter.
Northern Territory's state final demand decreased 0.4% for the quarter.
Australian Capital Territory's state final demand increased 0.5% for the quarter.

New South Wales 0.4%

Victoria 0.7%

Queensland 0.4%

South Australia 0.1%

Western Australia 0.8%

Tasmania -0.2%

Northern Territory -0.4%

Australian Capital Territory 0.5%

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

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. 

Outcomes of the annual seasonal reanalysis in March quarter 2023

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. Trend estimates for all series were also suspended from June 2019 (inclusive).

Over the March quarter 2023, annual seasonal reanalysis of national accounts series was conducted. This process reviewed the seasonal factors in more detail than is possible during a quarterly processing cycle, including assessing the appropriateness of prior corrections. The outcomes of this are listed below:

  • Household final consumption expenditure: Transport services remains on forward factors, all other reviewed series were reverted to concurrent
  • Government final consumption expenditure: Multijurisdictional (universities) series reverted to concurrent
  • GDP Income measure: Compensation of employees and Gross operating surplus and gross mixed income for the Accommodation and Food Services industry, as well as Compensation of employees for the Arts and Recreation Services industry remain on forward factors
  • GDP Production measure: All series now on concurrent with the exception of Air and Space Transport Gross Value Added.

Revisions to seasonally adjusted estimates have occurred as part of this process.

The annual seasonal reanalysis process will continue in the June quarter with consumption, private gross fixed capital formation and income series to be assessed. The outcomes of this process will be advised in the June quarter 2023 release of Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product, planned for release on 6 September 2023.

The reinstatement of trend estimates will be reviewed once all published series have reverted back to concurrent adjustment.

Data downloads

Time series spreadsheets

Data files

Data cubes

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

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Read more

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 5206.0.

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