For the ninth quarter in a row, Tasmania has once again led the rankings as the best performing economy, according to the latest CommSec State of the States report.

Interestingly, in the previous survey Tasmania led on four of the eight indicators, while in this report, the state led on just one indicator and placed either second or third on five other indicators.

The other state and territory economies all followed closely together, with Victoria second; Western Australia and Queensland joint third; the ACT and South Australia joint fifth; NSW seventh; and the Northern Territory eighth.

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As Australia’s state and territory economies now embrace a ‘living with COVID’ posture, the CommSec State of the States report uses the latest available information to provide an economic snapshot of each region.

Speaking about the latest report, CommSec Chief Economist Craig James said all of the country’s states and territories were performing well in these challenging times.

“Tasmania has held top position in the performance rankings – solely or jointly – for nine consecutive quarterly surveys. While it has been the dominate leader over much of this period, it is now possible that Tasmania will be challenged for the top spot over the next six months,” Mr James said.

“Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia each led the rankings on two indicators, while Tasmania led on just one indicator – down from four indicators in the previous survey.”

“Queensland is now in equal third position with Western Australia. It is the highest ranking for Queensland in eight years, while Western Australia has equalled its best ranking in 7½ years.”


“The opening of local and foreign borders will likely present both challenges and opportunities in coming months, with Queensland and Western Australia most likely to benefit from the opportunities presented.”

The State of the States report uses the most recent economic data available, however while some data relates to the December quarter, other data – such as unemployment – is timelier, covering the month of March.

State and territory highlights

  • NSW ranked second on housing finance.
  • Victoria ranked first on both retail spending and housing finance.
  • Queensland ranked first on relative population growth and second on unemployment.
  • South Australia ranked first on dwelling starts and construction work.
  • Western Australia ranked first on relative economic growth and relative unemployment.
  • Tasmania ranked first on equipment investment. Tasmania also ranked second on construction work done, retail spending and relative economic growth, and placed third on relative unemployment and dwelling starts.
  • The ACT ranked second on equipment investment and dwelling starts.
  • The Northern Territory ranked fourth on relative economic growth.

Annual growth rates

  • Annual changes in economic indicators are useful for measuring economic momentum.
  • Of the eight indicators assessed, all states and territories except Northern Territory topped the leader-board on at least one indicator (Western Australia and South Australia shared top spot on annual employment growth).
  • When looking across growth rates for the states and territories the ACT, South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland have annual growth rates equal or exceeding the national average on four of the eight indicators.
  • Tasmania, NSW and Victoria lead the national average on three measures. The Northern Territory leads the national average on two indicators.