Source: The Mercury, 24 January, 1995
by Kim Sweetman in Canberra Australians have emerged from the recession wealthier than they were when it began, according to figures from the Federal Treasury and the Aus- tralian Bureau of Statistics. Each person is now worth an average of $94,100 in terms of private assets, a report released yesterday by Treasury said. The total value of privately owned property, including private sector companies was $1,679.4 billion in the year to June 30, 1994, it said. That represented a rise in the average value of personal assets of 11.6 per cent. If every Australian lost everything they owned it would cost $85,800 each, or a total of $1,530,8 billion, to replace the assets. The report said people were not increasing their wealth at the same high rates they were in the 1980s but, unlike other economic cycles, growth was recovering well from the recession. "The recovery has occurred without a strong increase in inflation and therefore growth in real wealth has re- covered strongly", the report said. Housing was the most valuable asset, accounting for 59 per cent of private holdings. This was followed by business capital (28 per cent), Govern- ment securities (6 per cent), consumer durables (6 per cent) and the money base, which was worth one per cent of all pri- vate wealth. Strong investment in business and housing underpinned the growth in assets, it said. Investment in business capital accounted for 6 per cent of the 11.6 per cent increase in net private sector wealth in line with growth in stock mark- et prices. Growth in housing accounted for 5.6 per cent of the rise. Continued growth in housing stock was bolstered by modest growth in established house prices. The real price of housing assets rose as the price of established houses increased faster than the price of new dwelling investment.
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