The first CommSec quarterly State of the States report for 2018 has given NSW the top position across key economic indicators including construction work done, dwelling commencements, equipment investment, and retail trade.
The state is also performing well when it comes to economic growth, and it ranks second. The leading state in terms of economic growth, according to CommSec, is the Northern Territory. However, the NT ranks as a laggard on all other key indicators aside from increase in exports.
The leading state in terms of economic growth, according to CommSec, is the Northern Territory.
The good news continued for NSW, with the state having an unemployment rate of 4.7% – almost 12% below its decade average and the lowest it has been in the past nine years. The state’s job market was ranked as the strongest in the nation.
Victoria is not far behind NSW, holding second place in terms of retail trade, housing finance, construction work, and equipment investment. It is also the state with the fastest annual population growth at 2.34%, some 14.2% above the decade average. It also has the highest wage growth at 2.2%.
The ACT ranked third overall, and had the greatest improvement in regard to the national jobs market, with the Capital Territory’s annual employment growth now the strongest in almost a decade. It also holds first place in terms of housing finance approvals.
Victoria is not far behind NSW, holding second place in terms of retail trade, housing finance, construction work, and equipment investment.
Tasmania holds fourth place in terms of overall economic strength, with an upswing in employment numbers and population growth driving stronger home building and retail activity. It is also a leader in business investment, with equipment investment rising 32.6% compared to the previous year. Equipment investment is on a five year high in trend terms, and unemployment has fallen to 2.4% below its decade average.
According to CommSec, South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland are the states where the economic engines are not firing on all cylinders.
SA achieved only fourth place on four out of eight indicators. CommSec identified business investment as one of the state’s key strengths, and housing finance as its major weakness. Construction work done for the fourth quarter of 2017 amounted to $2,788 million — up 10.4% compared to the decade average.
Construction work done for the fourth quarter of 2017 amounted to $2,788 million — up 10.4% compared to the decade average.
In Queensland, there are some bright spots in the picture, with the fastest annual employment growth in the nation and exports up by 35% in the period January-September 2017 compared to the same period in 2016.
However, the construction sector was identified as the Sunshine State’s major weak point The final quarter’s figure of $10,168 million in work done represents a drop of 17.6% compared to the decade average.
The wind-down of construction activity is continuing to impact the health of the Western Australia economy, with the state placing last in the CommSec league table. It is not all doom and gloom, however, as the state’s employment growth is almost at the highest level experienced over the past five years, and annual population growth has been lifting over the past four consecutive quarters.