Victoria and NSW remain tied as the nation’s best performing economies while Tasmania is the big improver, according to the latest CommSec State of States report.
Monday’s scorecard puts Australia’s two most populous states in joint top spot for consecutive quarters, with retail trade and business investment in Victoria and NSW underpinned by solid population growth and strong job markets.
But Commsec chief economist Craig James warned softening housing markets in Sydney and Melbourne would continue to take a toll on the states’ home building and home loan figures.
“Strong job markets provide support for local economies but housing markets will continue to soften in the period ahead,” Mr James said.
CommSec’s latest quarterly report lifted Tasmania into joint third spot with the ACT after higher population growth drove new home purchase and business investment in the island state.
Positions five to eight are unchanged from January’s report with South Australia and Queensland in fifth and sixth, followed by Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
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 has occupied top spot since ending NSW’s long-running reign in July 2018, but the two have shared the number one rank since January.
COMMSEC’S STATE OF THE STATES RANKINGS
1= (1) VICTORIA
1= (2) NSW
The nation’s two most populous states remain tied in first position in the overall economic performance rankings. NSW is consistently strong across the indicators and is second-ranked on seven of the eight indicators, while Victoria ranks first on economic growth, retail trade, the job market and construction work done. Victoria’s lowest ranking is fifth on dwelling starts.
3= (3) ACT
3= (4) TASMANIA
The ACT is now joined in third spot on the rankings by Tasmania. The ACT is top-ranked on housing finance and dwelling starts and is third ranked on retail trade and unemployment. Tasmania is ranked first on relative population growth as well as business investment and is in second spot on housing finance.
5 (5) SOUTH AUSTRALIA
South Australia is third ranked on business investment, fourth on the job market and housing finance and fifth on two other indicators.
6 (6) QUEENSLAND
Queensland’s key area of strength is relative economic growth (third-ranked). But the state is fourth on dwelling starts, fifth on relative population growth and the job market, and sixth on four indicators.
7 (7) WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Western Australia is seventh on six of the indicators and eighth on relative economic growth and the job market. Encouragingly, annual population growth is now the strongest in three years.
8 (8) NORTHERN TERRITORY
The Northern Territory is seventh-ranked on economic growth and the job market. And it lags all other states and territories on the other six indicators.