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Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics 2

Key figures: all levels of general government, Government Finance Statistics (GFS)

In the September quarter 2019:

  • taxation revenue decreased 16.5% to $128,477m
  • expenses exceeded revenue resulting in a net operating balance of -$13,469m
  • the GFS net lending(+)/borrowing(-) position was -$19,452m.

Graph 1: All levels of general government, GFS revenue and expenses

Graph 2: All levels of general government, net operating balance, net lending/borrowing

Table 1: GFS key figures: all levels of government, original

. . not applicable

Quarterly national accounts public sector measures – key figures

The table below includes the key public sector aggregates for the September quarter 2019 which will be included in the Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product (cat. no. 5206.0). The key figures shown include Government Final Consumption Expenditure for total general government and Gross Fixed Capital Formation for total general government and total public corporations, seasonally adjusted in current prices and chain volume terms.

In seasonally adjusted chain volume terms compared with the previous quarter:

  • general government final consumption expenditure increased by $817m or 0.9%, and is expected to contribute 0.2 percentage points to growth in the September quarter 2019 volume measure of GDP
  • general government gross fixed capital formation increased by $167m or 0.9%
  • public corporations gross fixed capital formation increased by $294m or 5.4%
  • public gross fixed capital formation increased by $459m or 1.9%, and is expected to contribute 0.1 percentage points to growth in the September quarter 2019 volume measure of GDP.

Graph 3: National accounts public sector key measures, seasonally adjusted chain volume

Table 2: Quarterly national accounts public sector measures – key figures, seasonally adjusted

np not available for publication but included in totals where applicable, unless otherwise indicated
(a) See paragraph 35 of the Explanatory Notes for the relationship between general government final consumption expenditure and GFS aggregates.
(b) Reference year for chain volume measures is 2017-18.

Quarters presented in this release

This release presents quarterly government finance statistics on an accrual accounting basis. All tables presented are for the general government sector, with the exception of Table 2 which presents data for the public non-financial corporations sector.

Detailed quarterly GFS are released for the current financial year only, other than in the September quarter, when the quarters of the previous financial year are presented. Users requiring data for earlier periods should consult the annual publication Government Finance Statistics, Australia (cat. no. 5512.0). The latest issue (2017-18) was released on 29 April 2019.

Government Finance Statistics are part of the broader suite of macroeconomic accounts produced by the ABS. They share their basic concepts with the National Accounts and Balance of Payments. The conceptual framework is agreed internationally and published by the International Monetary Fund. Macroeconomic statistics are compiled to enable macroeconomic analysis and the standards may differ from accounting standards in some regards.

Accounting Standard Changes

The following Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) standard changes have been introduced in government financial reporting for periods from 1 July 2019 onwards, leading to increased divergence in certain circumstances between economic statistics publications and government financial reporting:

  • Leases (AASB 16): The standard removes the distinction between operating and finance leases on the lessee side of financial reporting. The conceptual distinction between operating and finance leases still remains in economic statistics. GFS outputs are consistent with the historical treatment.
  • Revenue recognition (AASB 15 & 1058): The standard requires revenue to be recognised when performance obligations are met in certain circumstances. In GFS the change primarily affects grant revenue received by state and territory governments from the Commonwealth. Recognition of grant revenue in GFS remains consistent with the historical treatment which is based on when jurisdictions have access to the funding as reported by the Commonwealth.
  • Service Concession Arrangements (AASB 1059): The standard impacts ownership of non-financial assets. It applies a control concept to determine non-financial asset ownership. Non-financial asset ownership in GFS is determined based off a risk-reward concept consistent with the historical treatment which has been maintained in economic statistics.

Transactions related to visa application charges

In December 2015, the Commonwealth Government released the 2015-16 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) which included a reclassification of visa application charges (VAC). In MYEFO these charges are now treated as taxation revenue rather than sales of goods and services. This reclassification has been applied to the Government Finance Statistics (GFS), with no impact on total GFS revenue or the GFS net operating balance. The National Accounts statistics will maintain coherence with previously published data and classify this transaction as sales of goods and services. These treatments will remain in place until a review of the treatment of VAC across macroeconomic statistics has been completed.

Forthcoming issues

The release of GFS quarterly data is usually coordinated to be the day before the respective issue of Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product (cat. no. 5206.0). The scheduled release dates for the next two issues are:

Issue 5519.0.55.001 5206.0
December 2019 3 March 2020 4 March 2020
March 2020 2 June 2020 3 June 2020

Inquiries

For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070, email or email . The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS will handle any personal information that you provide to us.

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