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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.

Now in its 11th year, the 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 the best performing economy. Tasmania has moved past NSW into second spot but there is little separating the states. The ACT is solidly in fourth position. Then there is a gap to Queensland and South Australia. And in the fourth grouping is Western Australia and the Northern TerritoryVictoria continues to benefit from solid population growth and a strong job market. Tasmania is now in second spot with strength in the building and purchase of homes.

NSW remains consistently strong across all indicators and is ranked second on five of the eight indicators. The ACT is in fourth spot, supported by a strong job market and solid demand for homes. Queensland remains in fifth spot from South Australia and both are having to contend with relatively high jobless rates. Western Australia remains in seventh position, ahead of Northern Territory.

 

State & Territory breakdown

 

1. Victoria

Strength: Job Market 

Weakness: Relative Population Growth  

 

Insights into VIC

Victoria is on top of the economic performance rankings. Victoria ranks first on four of the eight indicators

 

2. Tasmania 

Strength: Relative population growth  

Weakness: Relative economic growth 

 

Insights into TAS

Tasmania is in second position on the economic performance rankings. Tasmania is ranked first on three of the eight indicators.

 

3. New South Wales

Strength: Construction work

Weakness: Housing Finance

 

Insights into NSW

NSW is in third position on the overall economic performance rankings. NSW is second-ranked on five of the eight indicators.

 

4. ACT

Strength: Housing Finance

Weakness: Relative Population Growth 

 

Insights into ACT

The ACT is solidly in fourth spot in the rankings. The ACT is top-ranked on housing finance.

 

5. Queensland

Strength: Relative population growth

Weakness: Job Market

Insights into QLD

Queensland retains fifth position on the performance rankings. Queensland is ranked second on relative population growth and third on relative economic growth.

 

6. South Australia

Strength: Housing Finance

Weakness: Relative economic growth

 

Insights into SA

South Australia is in sixth position on the performance rankings behind Queensland. South Australia is fourth on three of the indicators.

 

7. Western Australia

Strength: Job Market 

Weakness: Housing finance

 

Insights into WA

Western Australia is seventh on the performance rankings. Unemployment is at 2-year lows.

 

8. Northern Territory 

Strength: Equipment spending

Weakness: Relative Population Growth

 

Insights into NT

The Northern Territory is seventh-ranked on economic growth but lags all other states and territories on the other seven indicators.

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