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5204.0 - Australian System of National Accounts, 2002-03  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 05/11/2003   
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MEDIA RELEASE

November 5, 2003
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
113/2003
Looking for comprehensive information on the Australian economy?

The Australian System of National Accounts (ASNA), published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, is one of the most comprehensive sources of data on the Australian economy.

The publication, released today presents a variety of information up to and including 2002-03. The ASNA covers topics such as GDP growth in current and chain volume terms; productivity indexes (including estimates of multifactor productivity); income accounts and net saving by sector; investment flows and capital stock by asset type, industry and sector; detail on household and government consumption; financial transactions for each sector and estimates of balance sheets and net worth for each sector.

The ASNA presents an industry view for many economic aggregates, providing some key indicators of changes in economic structure.

Key results contained in the ASNA release for 2002-03 are:
  • In volume terms, GDP grew by 2.8%, with strong growth in construction (up 16.3%) offset by a large decline in agricultural production (down 28.7%);
  • Manufacturing and property and business services remain the two largest industries - both contributing around 12% of GDP in current prices;
  • Multifactor productivity growth eased to 0.5% with labour productivity growing 1.8% and capital productivity falling by 1.2%;
  • Household net saving was negative for the first time in annual terms, with the household saving ratio (saving as a proportion of disposable income) at -2.5%;
  • At the same time the, net worth of households was $2,516 billion as at 30 June 2003, a rise of 5.4% over the year. Rises in land values were offset by falls in the value of shares and other equity and an increase in loan balances outstanding;
  • National net saving remained strong, with both corporations and governments showing strong positive saving ratios;
  • National net worth grew by 9.0% over the year to 30 June 2003, continuing a strong trend since 1996-97; and
  • Net borrowing from the rest of the world increased sharply in 2002-03 reflecting the strong domestic demand for imports and weak exports growth.

This edition of ASNA also includes new information concerning the analysis of income, saving and wealth. A feature article and two new tables of data show the impact of adding real holding gains to traditional measures of income and saving. In addition, experimental estimates of labour productivity and multifactor productivity based on a quality adjusted hours worked labour input series have been introduced. This represents a further refinement and improvement in the productivity estimates.

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