New South Wales has retained first place in as Australia’s best-performing economy, according to the latest CommSec State of the States report.
Despite coming in fifth in terms of economic growth, CommSec has ranked NSW ahead of all other states and territories when it comes to retail spending, equipment investment, unemployment, housing finance and new homes.
CommSecc Chief Economist Craig James told SmartCompany this morning NSW is a clear winner.
“NSW comes on top in six out of those eight indicators and its very clear NSW is on top in Australia. It comes down to population” he says.
“When you consider that there’s a lot of construction, retailers and small and medium businesses that are impacted by the boom.”
Victoria’s economy has come in second, thanks to the highest level of population growth as well as strong housing finance and new homes.
Victoria also recorded the fastest annual economic growth rate on the year before at 3.4%.
Ranking equal third is the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory, with the ACT showing the most economic growth and having record highs in the September quarter.
James says much of the ACT’s growth is coming from population growth, with increases in the number of people from overseas moving to the nation’s capital.
While this could be attributed to international students, says James, the population growth has flow-on effects, such as boosting the new dwellings being built.
Western Australia is continuing to slip in the rankings, from number one in October 2014 to equal third in the last quarter and to now fifth overall.
“The mining boom has clearly ended in WA with many mining workers returning to their home states, which sees flow-on effects in those (other) states,” James says.
Whilst construction work is up 35.1% in WA, James says it’s more of a “historical measure” than a “forward-looking measure” with much of the construction work winding up in mining areas.
Queensland has now dropped to sixth place, one spot down from last quarter, with South Australia and then Tasmania bringing up the rear.
“Tasmania still in relative terms finding it difficult to work its way up the leader board but there’s encouraging indicators there,” James says.
The economic growth in Tasmania is positive, ranking third in actual economic growth, with the falling Australian dollar also helping to boost exports.