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5204.0 - Australian System of National Accounts, 1997-98  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/04/1999   
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MEDIA RELEASE

April 23, 1999
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
49/1999

Australian System of National Accounts

The Australian Bureau of Statistics today published the first set of annual national accounts for Australia that reflects the latest international standards.

The report provides data up to 1997-98 and shows GDP growth of 4.6% in 1997-98, the seventh successive year in which growth has been recorded. GDP per capita increased by 3.2% in 1997-98. (Both measures are in chain volume terms.)

Australia's net worth (the difference between total assets and total liabilities, including shares) was $2,277.8 billion on June 30 1998, an increase of 6.8% from 30 June 1997.

Australia's national net saving was $20.3 billion in 1997-98 (equivalent to 3.6% of GDP). However, domestic saving was insufficient to finance Australia's investment in capital assets, resulting in national net borrowing of $22.1 billion (equivalent to 4.0% of GDP) in 1997-98. In chain volume terms, investment in capital assets grew by 8.3% in 1997-98.

The publication provides a full sequence of accounts (income, capital, financial and balance sheet accounts) for Australia as a whole and for each institutional sector, as well as an extensive range of supplementary information. The publication incorporates the data previously published in three separate annual national accounts publications relating to capital stock, multifactor productivity and balance sheet statistics. Those three publications have now been discontinued.

In conjunction with the introduction of new international standards, major enhancements have been made to the estimates for capital stock and multifactor productivity. Details of these enhancements are provided in a feature article entitled Upgrade of Capital Stock and Multifactor Productivity Estimates.

The new accounts are the culmination of a five-year enhancement program. As well as the implementation of new international standards for national accounts, constant price estimates have been replaced by chain volume measures and the national income, expenditure and product accounts are now integrated with the input-output tables. These improvements were first introduced in the September quarter 1998 issue of Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product (Cat. No. 5206.0), which was released on 2 December 1998.

Full details are in Australian System of National Accounts 1997-98 (cat. no. 5204.0), which is available in ABS Bookshops. An analysis of results from the publication is available on this site.

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