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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.

The latest State of the States report also includes a section comparing annual growth rates for the eight key indicators across the states and territories as well as Australia as a whole. This enables another point of comparison – in terms of economic momentum.                                                                       

State of the States

Brought to you by the CommSec Economics Team

Victoria remains in top spot on the economic performance rankings ahead of NSW. However there is little to separate the two economies. The ACT retains third spot on the performance rankings but Tasmania is closing the gap, improving its relative position on four of the eight indicators.

South Australia is now in fifth spot ahead of Queensland with the former picking up its relative position on business investment. Northern Territory remains in seventh position just ahead of Western Australia. There are positive trends for both economies, especially with regard to the job market.

State & Territory breakdown


1. Victoria

Strength: Job Market 

Weakness: Equipment Investment  


Insights into Victoria 

Victoria remains the top of the economic performance rankings. Victoria ranks first on economic growth, unemployment and construction work done.


2. New South Wales

Strength: Retail Trade 

Weakness: Housing Finance


Insights into NSW

NSW is second on the overall economic performance rankings but still holds top spot for retail spending and dwelling starts. NSW is second ranked on three other indicators.


3. ACT

Strength: Housing Finance

Weakness: Dwelling Starts  


Insights into ACT

The ACT has held on to third spot on the rankings. The ACT is top-ranked on relative housing finance and second-ranked on population growth and business investment.


4. Tasmania 

Strength: Population Growth 

Weakness: Economic Growth


Insights into TAS

Tasmania is in fourth position on the economic performance rankings but is closing the gap on the ACT. Tasmania is ranked first on the relative position on population growth and business investment and is in second spot on housing finance.


5. South Australia

Strength: Construction Work Done

Weakness: Population Growth


Insights into South Australia

South Australia is now in fifth position on the performance rankings ahead of Queensland. South Australia is third-ranked on construction work done and fourth on two other indicators.


6. Queensland

Strength: Dwelling Starts

Weakness: Construction Work Done


Insights into QLD

Queensland is now in sixth position. Queensland ranks fifth on four of the eight indicators.


7. Northern Territory

Strength: Job Market

Weakness: Dwelling Starts


Insights into NT

The Northern Territory is third-ranked on economic growth. But it lags all other states and territories on five of the indicators.


8. Western Australia

Strength: Equipment Spending 

Weakness: Retail Trade


Insights into WA

Western Australia is seventh or eighth on all indicators (eighth on three indicators).

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