TOP GONG: NSW remains the best performing economy in Australia according to Commsec

Premier of NSW, Mike Baird catching waves. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

New South Wales remained Australia’s top performing state in Commsec’s latest State of the States report, narrowly taking the top gong from Victoria which came in number two in the first quarter of 2016.

Commsec uses eight key economic indicators to construct the report — economic growth, retail spending, equipment investment, unemployment, construction work done, population growth, housing finance and dwelling commencements — comparing the trend results to the decade average indicator to determine which state performed the best over the quarter.

NSW retained its top rankings on population growth, retail trade, dwelling starts, and unemployment.

It also noted that Victoria gained “substantial ground” on NSW, driven by strength in housing finance and robust performances from population growth, retail trade, unemployment, and dwelling starts.

Fitting with recent divergent performance between mining and non-mining states, the Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia came in at fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh according to Commsec’s rankings.

While Tasmania and South Australia were the worst performing states for the quarter, Commsec suggests the lower Australian dollar should help to boost its tourism and education sectors, those sensitive to movements in the currency.

Here’s a map, provided by Commsec, that puts the results for the quarter into visual form.

And here’s a synopsis from Commsec on the performance from each state and territory during the first quarter of the year.

  • NSW has retained its top rankings on population growth, retail trade, dwelling starts, and unemployment but has drifted to second spot on housing finance. NSW improved to second ranked on economic growth and is still fourth ranked on construction work done.
  • Victoria has gained substantial ground on NSW and is solidly in second spot on the economic performance rankings. Victoria’s main strength is housing finance and is ranked second on a number of indicators (population growth, retail trade, unemployment, and dwelling starts).
  • The ACT remains the third ranked economy. The ACT is second ranked on equipment investment and third ranked on population growth, housing finance, and retail trade. Equipment investment is up 21.1 per cent on a year ago.
  • The Northern Territory is fourth ranked and remains in top spot for economic growth and construction work done. However the territory economy is losing momentum, now ranked last ranked on population growth, business investment and housing finance.
  • Queensland is in fifth spot on the economic performance rankings. While third ranked on dwelling starts, it is bottom ranked on construction work and seventh ranked on economic growth.
  • Western Australia shifts from fifth to sixth ranked. The mining state is second ranked on construction work and fourth ranked on retail trade. But WA struggles on unemployment (last) and is ranked seventh on business investment, population growth, and housing finance.
  • Tasmania is now equal seventh at the bottom of the Australian economic performance table – with South Australia. Tasmania is seeing a modest lift in momentum, now seventh ranked on retail trade (previously eighth). The “Apple Isle” is also fourth ranked on unemployment.
  • South Australia does best on population growth and equipment investment (both fourth ranked) but is seventh or eighth on three indicators.

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