Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM)

CFCM 18/11: The Australian real-time fiscal database: An overview and an illustration of its use in analysing planned and realised fiscal policies


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 realtime.  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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Kevin Lee, James Morley, Kalvinder Shields and Madeleine Sui-Lay Tan

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Posted on Wednesday 7th November 2018

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