NSW out in front, but here comes Tassie
NSW continues to be Australia's strongest performing economy and Western Australia the weakest, the latest quarterly scorecard in the CommSec State of States report shows.
The most significant mover among the states since CommSec's last state-against-state quarterly ranking is Tasmania, lifting from fifth to fourth position, pushing back last quarter's top performer, South Australia.
Each quarter CommSec ranks Australia's state by state performance, analysing eight key indicators: economic growth; retail spending; business investment; unemployment; construction work done; population growth; housing finance and dwelling commencements.
Victoria is a comfortable number two on the state economic performance rankings for five of CommSec's eight indicators and the ACT has held onto third spot, Queensland remains in sixth position and the Northern Territory beat out wooden-spooner Western Australia for seventh place.
NSW leads on the lion's share of CommSec's eight key economic indicators. NSW topped economic growth, construction work, retail trade, dwelling starts, equipment investment and unemployment. The jobless rate of 4.7 per cent is almost 12 per cent below its decade average and the lowest in nine years as the strongest job market in the nation.
NSW came in second on economic growth and in third spot for population growth and for housing finance.
Victoria is not too far behind NSW, sneaking into second spot on retail trade, housing finance, construction work and equipment investment. Victoria is still the state with the fastest annual population growth at 2.34 per cent, some 14.2 per cent above the decade average, and enjoyed the highest wage growth at 2.2 per cent.
The ACT remains in third spot and is the biggest improver when it comes to the job market, with annual employment growth now the strongest in almost a decade. The nation's capital continues to lead the country when it comes to getting housing finance approved.
Tasmania has had improvements in employment and population growth which have led to stronger retail and home building activity, but it was in business investment where Tassie dominated, rising 32.6 per cent on a year earlier and eclipsing the next closest, the Northern Territory, which recorded 13.4 per cent. Equipment investment in Tasmania was at a 5-year high in trend terms and its 6.0 per cent jobless rate is 2.4 per cent below the decade average.
5. SOUTH AUSTRALIA
SA has taken a step back from the previous quarter when it skipped two places to fourth, only to be displaced this quarter by Tasmania. The state came in fourth in four of the eight indicators, highlighting South Australia's middling performance
Queensland is in sixth position, but the outlook is upbeat with annual employment growth the fastest in Australia and just off the fastest for the state in over a decade. In the year to September, exports from Queensland were up 35 per cent on a year ago.
7. NORTHERN TERRITORY
The NT has the strongest economic growth but now limps behind all the other economies on six out of the eight indicators. The good news is exports are on the up, matching Queensland's 35 per cent growth on a year earlier.
8. WESTERN AUSTRALIA
The once mighty WA economy continues to endure the wind-down of the mining construction boom but employment growth is just off the highest levels seen in five years and annual population growth has now lifted for four consecutive quarters.
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