The Australian real-time fiscal database: A overview and an illustration of its use in analysing planned and realised fiscal policies

Vol: 
14/2019
Author name: 
Lee K
Morley J
Shields K
Tan MSL
Year: 
2019
Month: 
February
Abstract: 

This paper describes a fiscal database for Australia including measures of government spending, revenue, deficits, debt and various sub-aggregates as initially published and subsequently revised. The data vintages are collated from various sources and provide a comprehensive description of the Australian fiscal environment as experienced in real-time. Methods are described which exploit the richness of the real-time datasets and they are illustrated through an analysis of the extent to which stated fiscal plans are realised in practice and through the estimation of fiscal multipliers which draw a distinction between policy responses and policy initiatives. We find predictable differences between plans and actual fiscal policy, consistent with a desire of the government to appear more prudent than in reality, and a larger multiplier for policy initiatives than implementation errors.

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