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Thursday, 9 December 1976
Page: 3715

Mr Hurford asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

(1)   Precisely which accounting aggregates are used to measure the savings ratio.

(2)   What have been the movements in these aggregates and in the savings ratio during each quarter of the last 5 years.

Mr Lynch - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(   1 ) The saving ratio is the ratio of household saving to household disposable income. In the Australian national accounts the household sector includes all Australian resident persons, their unincorporated enterprises located in Australia and dwellings owned by persons, and non-profit organisations serving households other than those in financial enterprises sector.

Household saving and disposable income are the items so named in Tables 1 1 and 32, respectively, of the 1974-75 edition of Australian National Accounts and in Tables 14 and 15 of Quarterly Estimates of National Income and Expenditure.

Although often referred to as the 'savings ratio' the term saving ratio' is preferred for clarity. Saving describes the act of accumulating assets; savings more accurately refers to the sum of accumulated assets.

To facilitate analysis of movements in the saving ratio, the quarterly saving ratio is calculated on a seasonally adjusted basis by dividing seasonally adjusted saving by seasonally adjusted household disposable income. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has not included in its publications seasonally adjusted series for household disposable income but has made available for research purposes a seasonally adjusted series which after further development it would expect to include in publications. This developmental series is given in the answer to part (2 ). Seasonally adjusted saving is derived as the difference between seasonally adjusted household disposable income and the published series for seasonally adjusted private final consumption expenditure.

(2)   The saving ratio and the aggregate from which it is calculated are shown in the following table for each quarter of the last 5 years. The saving ratio, similarly calculated, can be found in Table 2 of Statement 2 attached to the Budget Speech 1976-77.

Household saving, whether in the original or seasonally adjusted form, is derived as a residual between two large aggregates and consequently may be significantly affected by relatively small variations or estimation deficiencies in household disposable income and private final consumption expenditure.


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