New South Wales remains Australia’s top performing economy

A crowd in Sydney gathering for New Year celebrations. Picture: Getty Images / File

New South Wales remains Australia’s top performing economy, according to Commsec’s latest “State of the States” report, retaining the position it has held for each of the past 14 quarters.

Here’s how each of Australia’s states and territories performed in the latest quarterly report.

Source: Commsec

The State of the States report evaluates current economic growth, retail spending, business investment, unemployment, construction work, population growth, housing finance and dwelling commencements compared to the average performance seen over the past decade.

“New South Wales has been the top performing state for just over three years, with the latest data showing it secured top ranking across five of the eight indicators — retail trade, dwelling starts, equipment investment, construction work and unemployment,” said Commsec.

“Victoria has again come in as the second best performing state after it was once more supported by the fastest annual population growth, followed by the ACT with its annual employment growth at its strongest in over a decade.”

Contributing to the strength in Australia’s southeastern states and territories, they also have the strongest levels of population increase, lifting by 1.6% in New South Wales, 2.3% in Victoria and 1.7% in the ACT in the 12 months to June 2017, according to data released by the ABS.

In contrast, most states and territories in the bottom half of the rankings — South Australia, Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia — experienced population growth significantly lower than the levels seen in Australia’s southeastern corner over the same period.

With the exception of Queensland, population growth of 0.8% or lower was recorded in those states and territories, including a paltry 0.1% increase in the Northern Territory.

Along with the influence of population growth on the report, the use of decade averages to score economic performance also explains the results, marking down those states and territories that previously benefited from the twin mining booms seen either side of the global financial crisis.

In contrast, those states and territories that were weaker during the twin mining booms are now being marked higher due to recent economic strength linked in part to population growth and stronger housing market conditions.