Tasmania tops the states for economic performance, while NSW slides to its lowest rank in eight years: CommSec


Hobart City and the Tasman Bridge, Tasmania.

The latest CommSec State of the States report reveals Tasmania has the best-performing economy in Australia, with retail consumption and population growth pushing it ahead of Australia’s other states.

The top five included the Australian Capital Territory in second place, followed by South Australia in a tie with Victoria, and then Queensland.

For the fourth quarter in a row, Tasmania holds the mantle of the best performing economy. But notably there has been compression in the rankings with little to separate five of the other seven economies,” the report says.

Retail spending in Tasmania was 23% above decade-average levels in the September quarter.

The report says this strong increase was due to “success in suppressing the COVID-19 virus”, government cash handouts and wage subsidies that “supported incomes”.

Tasmania also remains strongest on relative population growth, with its 1.12% annual population growth rate 86.4% above the decade-average rate.

CommSec’s ranking of the best-performing states

  1. Tasmania
  2. Australian Capital Territory
  3. South Australia and Victoria
  4. Queensland
  5. New South Wales and Western Australia
  6. Northern Territory

The Australian Capital Territory and South Australia performed well compared to previous years, with the ACT maintaining its highest ranking since April 2017, and SA achieving its highest place in just over a decade.

Meanwhile, New South Wales, which shares its rank with Western Australia, sits at its lowest position in eight years.

When it comes to unemployment, the Australian Capital Territory has the strongest job market. Despite the COVID-19 shock, unemployment in the ACT stands at 3.7%, which is 7.0% below the decade average.

The next best is South Australia, with its 6.4% jobless rate being just 1.0% above the decade average.

While Victoria ranks third place overall, it leads on relative economic growth.

Economic activity in Victoria in the year to September was 23% above its decade-average level of output.

Despite performing well in economic growth, Victoria ranked eighth for retail trade.

“Victoria recorded the weakest result, with retail spending up 1.4% on the decade average, below Northern Territory with 4.9% growth,” the report says.


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