STATE OF THE STATES: NSW and Victoria continue to lead, WA lags

FESHIEBRIDGE, SCOTLAND – JANUARY 23: Huskies pull a sledge in a forest course during practice for the Aviemore Sled Dog Rally on January 23, 2013 in Feshiebridge, Scotland. Huskies and sledders prepare ahead of the Siberian Husky Club of Great Britain 30th anniversary race taking place this weekend near Aviemore. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

New South Wales and Victoria continue to lead the nation’s economic growth, according to CommSec’s latest quarterly State of the States report.

The report, which measures 8 key economic indicators (economic growth; retail spending; business investment; unemployment; construction work done; population growth; housing finance and dwelling commencements) puts NSW at the top of the leaderboard again overall.

NSW is also the best performer outright when it comes to business investment, retail trade, and dwelling starts and is in second spot on unemployment, construction work, population growth and housing finance, and in third spot on economic growth.

Victoria takes out second spot overall but now has the highest ranking for population growth and “ranked second on retail trade and business investment” CommSec said. The report also shows the state is third ranked on construction work, housing finance and dwelling starts.

Interestingly the report also showed that Victoria has the fastest nominal annual economic growth rate in the nation. That’s up “5.4 per cent on a year ago, ahead of ACT (up 5.1 per cent), Tasmania (up 4.8 per cent) and NSW (up 4.5 per cent)”.

At the other end of the spectrum, the residual impact of the mining boom is still dragging on Western Australia which came in eighth amongst the states the report showed.

And while CommSec said that WA’s nominal growth rate is down 5.9% on year ago levels, the good news is that “income levels will lift in line with record mining export volumes and the recent improvement in resource prices”.

Looking across the rest of the nation, Commsec said:

The Northern Territory economy, in fourth position, is still being supported by commercial and engineering activity but economic momentum is weakening.

South Australia is being assisted by stronger home prices and home loan activity. The Queensland economy has scope to lift over the coming year, supported by home building, tourism and rural exports.

The Tasmanian economy has improved over the past quarter in relative terms. The economic performance of Western Australia reflects the ending of the resources construction boom.

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