How are Australia’s states and territories performing? Each quarter CommSec attempts to find out by analysing eight key indicators: economic growth; retail spending; business investment; unemployment; construction work done; population growth; housing finance and dwelling commencements.
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.
The latest data shows Australia’s economies to be in good shape but with some differences in relative performance. NSW remains on top while Victoria is not far behind, ahead of the ACT. Then there is a gap to South Australia, Tasmania, Queensland and Northern Territory, then another gap to Western Australia.
NSW has retained the position as the best performing economy, at or near the top of all indicators.
Victoria holds second spot on the economic performance rankings with strength provided by high population growth, boosting housing demand.
The ACT retains third spot on the performance rankings but there has been a softening in the job market.
South Australia has lifted from sixth to fourth spot, just ahead of Tasmania and Queensland.
Northern Territory remains in seventh position.
Western Australia continues to lag other economies and annual growth rates remain below national averages on seven of eight indicators surveyed.
NSW remains on top of the economic performance rankings but Victoria has narrowed the gap. Both states have relatively high population growth, underpinning home building and retail spending.
Victoria remains in second on the performance rankings and has lifted in four of the eight indicators as well as out-performing all other economies on annual growth rates.
The ACT remains in third spot but it has lost economic momentum with the jobless rate edging higher while experiencing a slowdown in new home building.
NSW, Victoria and ACT still represent the top-tier of economies. There is still little to separate South Australia, Tasmania, Queensland, and Northern Territory.
South Australia lifts from sixth to fourth with improvement in the job market serving to boost retail spending and new home starts.
Tasmania slips from fourth spot to fifth with some softening in the relative position on retail spending and overall construction work done.
Queensland has slipped to sixth, but as noted, there is little to separate it from Tasmania and South Australia. Queensland employment is now the strongest in the nation. The state is also still being buoyed by strong export activity.
The Northern Territory remains in seventh spot. The outlook for the Northern Territory is constrained by weak population growth.
Western Australia is benefitting from stronger employment growth – the 2.9% annual growth rate now the best in 4½ years. The stronger job market has potential to lift retail and housing activity, according to CommSec Chief Economist Craig James.