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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 13th 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

In a relative sense, and for the eighth quarter in a row, Tasmania holds the mantle of the best performing economy. Tasmania leads on four of the eight indicators and is second ranked on another two.  

There is little to separate the other economies. South Australia is second; Victoria is third; Western Australia is fourth; Queensland is fifth; NSW is sixth; the ACT is seventh; and the Northern Territory is eighth.    

State & Territory breakdown


1. Tasmania 

Strength: Equipment Investment  

Weakness: Housing Finance


Insights into TAS

Tasmania is ranked first on four of the eight indicators.   


2. South Australia

Strength: Relative Unemployment

Weakness: Relative Economic Growth 


Insights into SA

South Australia ranks second on equipment investment and relative unemployment.


3. Victoria

Strength: Construction Work 

Weakness: Relative Population Growth 


Insights into VIC

Victoria ranks first on construction work and second on both dwelling starts and housing finance.


4. Western Australia

Strength: Relative Economic Growth 

Weakness: Housing finance


Insights into WA

Western Australia ranks first on relative economic growth and is second-ranked on relative population growth.


5. Queensland

Strength: Relative Population Growth

Weakness: Equipment Investment

Insights into QLD

Queensland is ranked first on relative population growth and second on retail trade.


6. New South Wales

Strength: Housing Finance

Weakness: Equipment investment


Insights into NSW

NSW is ranked first on housing finance.


7. ACT

Strength: Relative Economic Growth

Weakness: Relative Unemployment


Insights into ACT

The ACT is ranked third on both relative economic growth and equipment investment.


8. Northern Territory 

Strength: Housing Finance

Weakness: Dwelling Starts


Insights into NT

The Northern Territory is ranked sixth on three of the indicators.

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