New South Wales remains Australia's strongest economy

Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images
  • New South Wales has retained its title as Australia’s strongest performing economy in Commsec’s latest State of the States report.
  • Non-mining states continue to outperform compared to other parts of the country.
  • This reflects changes in individual state economies seen over the past decade, especially the effect of Australia’s twin mining booms.

New South Wales has retained its title as Australia’s strongest performing state economy.

According to Commsec’s latest State of the States report, New South Wales once again edged out Victoria for top spot in the March quarter, ranking highest in most economic indicators in the last quarter.

This map from Commsec shows how individual states ranked based off eight separate economic indicators.

Source: Commsec

“New South Wales has retained the position as the best performing economy, at or near the top of most indicators,” Commsec said.

“It secured top rankings on the same five economic indicators as last quarter: retail trade, dwelling starts, equipment investment, construction work and unemployment.”

Victoria once again claimed second spot in Commsec’s ratings, helped in part by the strongest rate of population growth across the country.

“High population growth and improvement in the job market have strengthened Victoria’s position,” said Craig James, Chief Economist at Commsec.

Commsec said Victoria ranked second for five of the eight indicators monitored and in third spot on the other three indicators. It said the biggest improvement came from the state’s jobs market with unemployment almost 3% below its decade average.

The ACT, in third spot, completed the podium places, ranking highest for housing finance and second for labour market conditions.

Tasmania, like Victoria, was also assisted by firmer population growth, coming in at fourth while South Australia, at fifth, performed well on construction metrics.

Queensland, despite the strongest employment growth across the country in the latest report, came in at sixth spot ahead of Australia’s mining states and territories, the Northern Territory and Western Australia, at seventh and eighth spots respectively.

The State of the States report uses eight key indicators — economic growth, retail spending, business investment, unemployment, construction work, population growth, housing finance and dwelling commencements — to determine a states overall economic performance.

It uses annual growth rates for each of these indicators and compares them to the average level seen over the past decade, helping to determine the final rankings.

Given the contrasting economic performances across Australia over the past past decade, with initial strength in mining states and weakness in non-mining states reversed in recent years, it helps explain the current underperformance in those states tied to the performance of the mining sector in the latest rankings.

Here’s a brief synopsis from Commsec on how each state economy fared in the latest report.

Source: Commsec

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