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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

NSW has retained top spot as the best performing economy. Victoria has held onto second spot, but moved a touch further away from NSW. Both states are maintaining a healthy lead. The ACT economy has improved over the quarter and held onto third spot. And while the  NT economy has held onto fourth place, there is now little separating SA in fifth (previously seventh) from the ‘top end’ economy.

The Queensland economy has moved down one rung from fifth to sixth. The big change over the past quarter has been another drop in the Western Australian economy, this time to seventh position (previously sixth) just ahead of the Tasmanian economy. There is little to separate the bottom three ranked economies

State & Territory breakdown

 

1. New South Wales

Strength: Population Growth

Weakness: Construction Work

 

Insights into NSW

NSW has retained its top rankings on business investment, population growth, retail trade and dwelling starts and added economic growth. But NSW has drifted to second spot on unemployment.

 

2. Victoria

Strength: Housing Finance

Weakness: Unemployment

 

Insights into Victoria 

Victoria is solidly in second spot on the economic performance rankings. Victoria is ranked second on a number of indicators (economic growth, population growth, retail trade, business investment, construction work and housing finance). Victoria has moved from second ranked to fourth ranked on unemployment.

 

3. ACT

Strength: Housing Finance

Weakness: Construction Work

 

Insights into ACT

The ACT remains the third ranked economy. The ACT is top ranked on housing finance and third ranked on economic growth, unemployment and population growth.

 

4. Northern Territory

Strength: Construction Work

Weakness: Population Growth

 

Insights into NT

The Northern Territory holds fourth position and remains in top spot for construction work done and is also now best on unemployment. However the Territory economy is losing momentum, ranked last on population growth, business investment and housing finance, while sixth ranked on retail trade.

 

5. South Australia

Strength: Equipment Investment

Weakness: Retail Trade

 

Insights into South Australia

The South Australian economy is now fifth-ranked (previously sixth) and improved in the quarter. South Australia is middle ranked on population growth and housing finance and fifth ranked on economic growth. It remains last on retail trade.

 

6. Queensland

Strength: Dwelling Starts

Weakness: Construction Work

 

Insights into QLD

Queensland shifts from fifth to sixth spot on the economic performance rankings. While second-ranked on dwelling starts, it is bottom-ranked on construction work and seventh-ranked on economic growth and unemployment.

 

7. Western Australia

Strength: Retail Trade

Weakness: Unemployment

 

Insights into WA

Western Australia is now seventh and near the bottom of the Australian economic performance table. In two years the mining state has gone from first to seventh. WA is third on retail trade and is middle-ranked on construction work. But WA struggles on unemployment (last) and is ranked seventh on business investment, population growth, and housing finance.

 

8. Tasmania 

Strength: Unemployment

Weakness: Economic Growth

 

Insights into TAS

Tasmania is in eighth position. The “Apple Isle” performs best on unemployment and construction (fifth ranked), but is last on dwelling starts and economic growth.

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