For the first time in over a year, Victoria is the country’s best performing economy according to the latest CommSec State of the States report.

Strong economic activity, solid retail spending and business investment catapulted Victoria from sixth place in the previous survey (July 2023) to the number one spot today, with the state also recording its highest population growth in almost seven years.

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There is little to separate the top six economies with South Australia now ranked second, up from third, followed by NSW, Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania, the ACT, and the Northern Territory.

The CommSec State of the States report – a quarterly ranking of economic performance – uses the latest available information to provide an economic snapshot of each state and territory by comparing eight key indicators: economic growth, retail spending, equipment investment, unemployment, construction, population growth, housing finance and dwelling commencements.

The State of the States report also has an extra focus on annual growth rates for the eight indicators to highlight economic momentum. This data highlights the scope for Australia’s economies to lift on the economic performance leader board in future surveys.   

CommSec Chief Economist Craig James said Victoria improved its ranking on four of the eight indicators.

“Economic activity in Victoria in the June quarter was 7.7 per cent above its four-year average level of output and equipment investment was at record highs as well – up 19.7 per cent on the decade average.

“While the lift from fifth to first is surprising, we knew coming into this quarter there was little to separate the economic performance of the states and territories. We expect Victoria to face challenges from the other economies in the period ahead.

“Looking at the other states and territories, the report also highlighted strong economic momentum from Western Australia as it leads on annual growth rates,” said Mr James.

State and territory highlights

  • Victoria ranked first on relative economic growth and construction work.
  • South Australia ranked first on relative unemployment.
  • Queensland ranked first on home loans.
  • Western Australia ranked first on relative population growth.
  • Tasmania ranked first on equipment spending and dwelling starts.
  • The ACT ranked first on retail spending.
  • NSW ranked second or third on four of the eight indicators.
  • The Northern Territory ranked fourth on relative population growth.

Annual growth rates

  • Annual changes in economic indicators are useful for measuring economic momentum.
  • Western Australia has the strongest economic momentum, with NSW, Victoria and Queensland tied for second position.
  • South Australia is now fifth, ahead of the ACT in sixth position, followed by the Northern Territory and Tasmania.
  • Western Australia leads other states and territories on annual growth rates of three of the eight indicators.
  • NSW, South Australia, the Northern Territory, Queensland and the ACT all lead on one indicator.

Note to editors: interviews with Craig James can be requested via the CBA Media team on (02) 9118 6919 or

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 March quarter (population), 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.

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