After slipping to third position in the July report, Tasmania has returned to top position in the rankings of the best performing state and territory economies, according to the latest quarterly CommSec State of the States report.

Tasmania leads the economic rankings, benefitting from improved rankings on retail spending and housing finance, followed by Queensland, the ACT and Western Australia. South Australia is fifth, ahead of Victoria, NSW and Northern Territory.

Downloadable assets

The second-place ranking for Queensland is its best ever ranking, topping the equal third position recorded almost nine years ago (January 2014). Although Victoria has slipped to number six, it remains top-ranked on retail spending.

The CommSec State of the States report uses the latest available information to provide an economic snapshot of each region by comparing annual growth rates for eight key indicators including: economic growth; retail spending; equipment investment; unemployment, construction work done; population growth; housing finance and dwelling commencements.

Speaking about the report, CommSec Chief Economist Craig James said there was now an orderly ranking of the country’s state and territory economies.

“Tasmania has quickly returned to the top of the economic leader board, courtesy of consistently high rankings for the eight economic indicators,” Mr James said.

“Queensland is also a stand-out – its best overall ranking. And the ACT impressively leads the economic rankings on three of the eight economic indicators.

“When looking at annual growth to get a guide on economic momentum, Queensland had annual growth rates that exceeded the national average on five of the eight indicators.

“In terms of future economic performance, much will depend on how economies respond to a period of rising interest rates.”

States of the States October 2022 snapshot States of the States October 2022 snapshot

State and territory highlights

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

Annual growth rates

  • Annual changes in economic indicators are useful for measuring economic momentum.
  • Of the eight indicators assessed, Queensland and the Northern Territory recorded the fastest annual growth rates on two indicators. NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT led on one indicator.
  • Notably, when looking across annual growth rates, Queensland had annual growth rates that exceeded the national average on five of the eight indicators.
  • Next best were Victoria and Western Australia, exceeding the national annual growth rate on four of the eight indicators.
  • The Northern Territory, the ACT and South Australia led the national average on three indicators. Tasmania and NSW each exceeded the national average on two indicators.

About the CommSec State of the States Report

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

CommSec, the digital broking arm of Australia’s largest bank, assesses the performance of each state and territory on a quarterly basis using eight key indicators. Those indicators include: 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, CommSec compares the key indicators to decade averages; that is, against "normal" performance. CommSec also compares annual growth rates for eight key indicators for all states and territories, in addition to Australia as a whole, enabling a comparison of economic momentum.

State of the States October 2022