The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

8 December 2009

NO.122

2008-09 Annual National Accounts and the
Australian Government Fiscal Aggregates

Today's release of the 2008-09 Annual National Accounts provides further evidence that the Australian economy has outperformed other advanced economies during the global recession.

The Annual National Accounts show that the Australian economy continued to grow in 2008-09 at a time when every other major advanced economy experienced deep recession.

Real GDP grew by 1.1 per cent in 2008-09 in year-average terms, confirming that without the Government's stimulus measures the economy would not have grown throughout the Global Financial Crisis.

In comparison, the major advanced economies contracted in year-average terms by 2.9 per cent in 2008-09, with historic contractions in year-average terms of 2.2 per cent in the US, 3.0 per cent in the UK and 5.1 per cent in Japan.

The Annual National Accounts also show a substantial increase in the level of GDP over history due to the ABS adopting the new System of National Accounts 2008 standards.

The ABS has taken the decision to adopt these new standards to better capture new economic developments and to reflect revised international standards issued by the UN Statistical Commission.

The level of nominal GDP is now 4.4 per cent higher in 2007‑08 than published in the 2007-08 Annual National Accounts, bringing the size of the Australian economy to $1.25 trillion in 2008-09.

Given the degree of increase in the level of nominal GDP, the Government has released updated tables of fiscal aggregates contained within Appendix D of the 2009-10 MYEFO. These tables include receipts, revenue, net debt, payments and expenses as a proportion of nominal GDP and are available at: www.budget.gov.au. The adoption of the new standards only affects those Budget aggregates which are expressed as proportion of GDP.

As a result of the new National Accounts standards, the underlying cash deficit for 2009-10 is now estimated to be 4.5 per cent of GDP due to the revisions to nominal GDP.

Net debt is now expected to peak at 9.6 per cent of GDP in 2013-14, compared to 10.0 per cent under the previous standards and fall to 2.1 per cent in 2019‑20 (compared to 2.2 per cent). Government securities on issue are now expected to peak as a share of GDP in 2011-12 at 17.3 per cent, compared to 18 per cent of GDP under the previous standards.

These revised estimates confirm that the Australian Government's net debt position will remain dramatically lower than other comparable economies, with projected net debt for the major advanced economies collectively exceeding 90 per cent of GDP by 2014.

8 December 2009