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How the national accounts are tracking since the election

Department of Finance

The budget was a hot topic in the lead up to this year’s federal election, and for some, an election decider. Here’s how it was tracking at the end of May. 

The fiscal balance for the 2018-19 financial year to 31 May 2019 was a surplus of $13.7 billion. This is an increase from a surplus of $1,816 million from the April figures.

The underlying cash balance for the financial year was a deficit of $115 million, which was an improvement on the previous reporting period.

Fundamentals improve


The figures improved due to the government spending less. In total, payments were lowered by 1.7 billion from the revised budget and total receipts increased by 1.3 billion.

Higher income taxes and strong commodity prices have combined to deliver a higher tax revenue for the Morrison government. 

Total assets and liabilities

As at 31 May 2019:

  • net worth is negative $442,116 million
  • net debt is $375,608 million
  • net financial liabilities are $647,813 million

Calls to spend more

The Reserve Bank of Australia believes the economy will benefit more from an increase in spending rather than a small budget surplus.

Governor Philip Lowe has previously stated that the Australian economy can sustain a higher level of employment through an increase in spending on infrastructure. 

To achieve this level, the government would need to increase its spending, meaning it would not necessarily hit its projected surplus target.

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How the national accounts are tracking since the election
Department of Finance
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