This report provides a national perspective on the fiscal outlook, examining outcomes across all levels of Australian government on a consistent basis.
The first part of the report highlights how the national fiscal outlook has changed since jurisdictions released their 2016–17 Budgets. The second part of the report focusses on trends in Commonwealth and state and territories revenue, expenditure, net capital investment and net debt over the forward estimates period.
The report focusses on the net operating balance, that is, the difference between recurrent revenue and expenses, and on net capital investment. The net operating balance is the key budget measure reported by the states and was adopted by the Commonwealth as their primary accrual measure in the 2017–18 Budget. Net capital investment is not included in the net operating balance but is a key component of Commonwealth and state budgets as it still needs to be financed, whether from recurrent revenue, selling assets or borrowing.
To allow for the most consistent comparison across jurisdictions historical data are sourced from the ABS from 2006–07 to 2015–16. From 2016–17 to 2020–21 data are based on Commonwealth, state and territory budgets.