State of the States 2015

How are Australia’s states and territories performing? Each quarter CommSec attempts to find out by analysing eight key indicators: economic growth; retail spending; equipment investment; unemployment; construction work done; population growth; housing finance and dwelling commencements.

Just as the Reserve Bank uses long-term averages to determine the level of “normal” interest rates; we have done the same with the economic indicators. For each state and territory, latest readings for the key indicators were compared with decade averages – that is, against the “normal” performance.


National Insights

Brought to you by the CommSec Economics Team

Last quarter NSW stood on top of Australia's economic performance rankings for the first time since July 2011. And NSW has maintained its position this quarter. But it has been joined on top by the Northern Territory with Western Australia slipping to third.

The next grouping is Victoria and Queensland. ACT has now overtaken South Australia into sixth spot while Tasmania is ranked eighth. Over the past quarter, NSW has improved its position on retail spending to consolidate its position at the top of the economic performance rankings.


State by State Breakdown

1

3

5

1

7

4

6

8

+ Retail spending

- Construction work

+ Home lending

- Business investment

+ Unemployment

- Population growth

+ Home lending

- Equipment spending

+ Business investment

- Unemployment

+ Population growth

- Retail spending

+ Housing finance

- Unemployment

+ Unemployment

- Various

  • New South Wales

    An overview of NSW

    Key CategoriesThis quarterVs decade avg.

    Dwelling commencements

    12470

    +46.3%

    Unemployment

    5.9%

    +12.0%

    Population Growth

    1.47%

    +22.8%

    Economic Growth

    $106,395m

    +12.0%

    Equipment investment

    $3614m

    +9.6%

    Housing Finance

    14907

    +2.1%

    Retail spending

    $21735m

    +16.2%

    Construction work

    $11014m

    +14.0%

    Insight into NSW

    New South Wales has retained its top rankings on population growth and is also now number one on retail trade. It is second placed on business investment, dwelling starts and unemployment. NSW is fourth on housing finance and overall construction work and fifth on economic growth.


  • Western Australia

    An overview of WA

    Key CategoriesThis quarterVs decade avg.

    Dwelling commencements

    8379

    +44.0%

    Unemployment

    5.6%

    +34.0%

    Population Growth

    2.16%

    -18.2%

    Economic Growth

    $76,822m

    +26.0%

    Equipment investment

    $2,277m

    +2.1%

    Housing Finance

    7695

    +8.0%

    Retail spending

    $7936m

    +16.1%

    Construction work

    $12905m

    +34.0%

    Insight into WA

    Western Australia is second-strongest on three indicators – economic growth, retail trade and construction work. The state has slipped to third on both housing finance and dwelling starts and has fallen to seventh on unemployment.


  • Northern Territory

    An overview of NT

    Key CategoriesThis quarterVs decade avg.

    Dwelling commencements

    625

    +61.5%

    Unemployment

    3.6%

    -14.0%

    Population Growth

    1.05%

    -45.3%

    Economic Growth

    $7,484m

    +37.2%

    Equipment investment

    $263m

    +50.6%

    Housing Finance

    387

    -10.8%

    Retail spending

    $748m

    +15.3%

    Construction work

    $1277m (JunQ)

    +47.0%

    Insight into NT

    The Northern Territory has overtaken Western Australia to now share the mantle of best performing economy. The NT is top on five indicators including the job market, but it’s sixth on housing finance and seventh on population growth as well as being third on retail trade.


  • Victoria

    An overview of VIC

    Key CategoriesThis quarterVs decade avg.

    Dwelling commencements

    14748

    +24.6%

    Unemployment

    6.7%

    +25.4%

    Population Growth

    1.86%

    +10.1%

    Economic Growth

    $78,855m

    +9.2%

    Equipment investment

    $2727m

    -1.3%

    Housing Finance

    14155

    +8.8%

    Retail spending

    $17016m

    +12.4%

    Construction work

    $8733m

    +7.6%

    Insight into VIC

    Victoria is still the fourth-ranked economy. Victoria is best on population growth and housing finance (second ranked). But it’s sixth ranked on economic growth and seventh on equipment investment.


  • Queensland

    An overview of QLD

    Key CategoriesThis quarterVs decade avg.

    Dwelling commencements

    10397

    +18.7%

    Unemployment

    6.6%

    +29.4%

    Population Growth

    1.52%

    -29.4%

    Economic Growth

    $80,094m

    +12.4%

    Equipment investment

    $2859m

    +4.6%

    Housing Finance

    10036

    -6.9%

    Retail spending

    $14014

    +12.2%

    Construction work

    $13158m

    +24.0%

    Insight into QLD

    Queensland remains close to Victoria in the performance rankings, retaining fifth position. Queensland does best on equipment investment and overall construction work done. But it is sixth ranked on the leading indicators of population growth and dwelling starts and also sixth on unemployment.


  • South Australia

    An overview of SA

    Key CategoriesThis quarterVs decade avg.

    Dwelling commencements

    2679

    -1.3%

    Unemployment

    6.5%

    +18.7%

    Population Growth

    0.91%

    -6.0%

    Economic Growth

    $25,582m

    +8.8%

    Equipment investment

    $674m

    +1.5%

    Housing Finance

    3291

    -13.1%

    Retail spending

    $4375m

    +4.3%

    Construction work

    $2311m

    +4.0%

    Insight into SA

    South Australia is the seventh ranked on economic performance. The state is third ranked on population growth but seventh ranked on economic growth, dwelling starts, housing finance and construction work.


  • Australian Capital Territory

    An overview of ACT

    Key CategoriesThis quarterVs decade avg.

    Dwelling commencements

    1044

    +20.1%

    Unemployment

    4.9%

    +41.2%

    Population Growth

    1.23%

    -22.8%

    Economic Growth

    $14,713m

    +16.3%

    Equipment investment

    $107m

    +0.4%

    Housing Finance

    866

    +9.8%

    Retail spending

    $1201m

    +6.2%

    Construction work

    $736m

    +6.5%

    Insight into ACT

    The ACT economy has regained its position in sixth spot on the economic performance rankings. The ACT has improved its position on housing finance, economic growth and equipment investment.


  • Tasmania

    An overview of TAS

    Key CategoriesThis quarterVs decade avg.

    Dwelling commencements

    612

    -7.0%

    Unemployment

    6.8%

    +12.6%

    Population Growth

    0.32%

    -50.4%

    Economic Growth

    $7329m

    +0.3%

    Equipment investment

    $142m

    -20.8%

    Housing Finance

    851

    -14.1%

    Retail spending

    $1358m

    +6.6%

    Construction work

    $548m

    +0.3%

    Insight into TAS

    Tasmania remains at the bottom of the Australian economic performance table. But it has held its third-ranked position on unemployment – in fact the jobless rate is at 28-month lows. And construction work is expanding at the fastest annual rate in eight years.