The Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) has released the report ‘National Fiscal Outlook: As at 2018–19 Budgets’. The report is an annual publication providing a national perspective on the fiscal outlook and a complete picture of the size of general government, by examining outcomes across all levels of Australian government. As such, the report is complemented by the ‘National Fiscal Outlook: At a Glance’, a graphical snapshot of each of the Commonwealth and state budgets in three charts.


  • The national fiscal outlook has improved since last year and is projected to strengthen over the forward estimates. Driven by an increase in Commonwealth revenue and subdued expenditure growth, the net operating balance has been revised upwards by $24.9 billion (0.3% of GDP) for the period 2017–18 to 2020–21; projected to move from a surplus of 0.1% of GDP to 2.1% in the same period.
  • However, there are risks to the outlook on both the revenue and expenditure side. Lower than expected receipts from weaker economic outcomes, as well as rising expenditure beyond projected levels (for instance, from election spending commitments) can impact the outlook.
  • State infrastructure investment is projected to grow strongly over the next two years. Major infrastructure projects in New South Wales and Victoria have led to an upwards revision of $19.5 billion for the forward estimates, with total state net capital investment projected at 1.1% of GDP in 2018-19 and 0.6% of GDP in 2021-22. States represented 95% of national net capital investment in 2017-18.
  • Aggregate state net debt more than doubles as a result of increased state borrowing for investment. Aggregate state net debt is projected to reach 5.2% of GDP. On the other hand, Commonwealth net debt (representing 90% of national net debt) is projected to decline due to improved budget balances.

(Source: Parliamentary Budget Office)


From the blog:

A Speech by the Parliamentary Budget Officer: Fiscal Transparency and the Parliamentary Budget Office, by Jenny Wilkinson

Economic Scenario Analysis of the 2017–18 Budget Medium-Term Projections, by Lok Potticary

Comments are closed.