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Media Release

Victoria and Tasmania hold on to first and second place: CommSec State of the States

CommSec State of the States

CommSec’s latest economic rankings show that Victoria remains the strongest performing economy in the nation, with Tasmania continuing to edge NSW for second place.

According to CommSec’s latest State of the States report, Victoria continues to be Australia’s best performing economy, leading from Tasmania in second place, New South Wales (NSW) in third, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) in fourth, Queensland in fifth, South Australia (SA) in sixth, Western Australia (WA) in seventh and the Northern Territory (NT) in eighth.

Since July 2018, Victoria has been in outright or equal first place in CommSec’s state/territory economy rankings, with its latest strong performance driven by a robust job market and high construction work.

Tasmania pipped NSW for second place for the first time in the last report (October 2019), and has held on to its position this quarter. The Apple Isle leads all states and territories in relative population growth and dwelling starts, and is second to only the ACT in home lending.

NSW, the nation’s largest economy, came in third for the second straight quarter, but there is little to separate it from Tasmania in second place. Of the eight economic indicators CommSec uses to rank the states and territories, NSW is in second or third place for six of them.

The ACT retained fourth place, courtesy of more demand for homes than any other state or territory, and the third strongest job market in the country after Victoria and NSW.

Queensland continues to sit in fifth place. Relative population growth, for which it is ranked second, and relative economic growth, for which it is ranked third, are Queensland’s strongest performing indicators.

SA remains in sixth place.  Improvements in relative population growth and equipment investment matched declines in the relative job market, housing finance and dwelling starts.

WA stays in seventh spot, but it is narrowing the gap with Queensland and SA. The nation’s largest state by geography recorded the fastest nominal economic growth of all states and territories, up 12.9 per cent over the year.

The NT remains in eighth spot. Australia’s smallest economy secured seventh spot in one of the economic indicators assessed (relative economic growth), but lags all other states and territories in the other seven categories.

CommSec’s Chief Economist, Craig James, said: “There has been no change in the rankings. But the main area of encouragement was the improvement in the job market in a number of economies, particularly Western Australia, Queensland and Tasmania.”

To access the full State of the States Report for January 2020, including detailed breakdowns of each economic indicator and additional commentary from CommSec’s Chief Economist, Craig James, visit

Interviews with Craig can be requested via the CBA Media team on (02) 9118 6919 or

About the State of the States Report

CommSec, the online 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.