Bruny Island Tasmania
Bruny Island, Tasmania. Photo – Canva.
  • Tasmania has led the nation in overall economic performance for 5 quarters
  • ACT is in second, leading on unemployment, retail and economic growth
  • WA has leapt three spots to third, above average on all but one measurement

Tasmania and the ACT continue to lead the nation in terms of overall economic performance, according to CommSec’s (CBA) latest ‘State of the States’ report.

The Apple Isle has topped the rankings for a fifth consecutive quarter, and leads on three of the main eight measured indicators: population growth, equipment investment and dwelling starts.

Meanwhile, ACT is in second place overall, and is the leading state for low unemployment, retail trade and economic growth.

Western Australia has leapt three places to third, and ranks second on relative economic growth, dwelling starts and relative unemployment.

Victoria is in fourth place, with South Australia fifth, followed by Queensland, NSW and the Northern Territory.

Housing finance commitments, % change (Feb 2021)

Housing Finance
Source: CommSec, ABS

Tasmania and the ACT have firmly held their positions at the top of the performance rankings due to above-average population growth in Tasmania, and a strong job market in the ACT. As a result, it’s unlikely we’ll see any considerable change at the top of the rankings in the near future.”

“The main challenge will come from Western Australia, which improved five places on dwelling starts, two positions on both relative unemployment and housing finance and one place on relative economic growth.”

Craig James, CommSec Chief Economist

“The West Australian economy has significant momentum provided by mining and homebuilding. In fact, skill shortages are identified in many building trades.

“Queensland also has scope to lift its ranking in 2021 due to improvement in the job market, rising in-bound migration and increased domestic tourism demand,” he said.

Dwelling starts, % change (Dec Quarter on decade average)

Dwelling Starts
Source: CommSec, ABS

When looking across all eight indicators, WA exceeds the national average on seven of them.

The eight measurements are:

  1. Economic growth: ACT leads, with WA and Tas next
  2. Retail spending: ACT, Tas, Qld
  3. Equipment investment: Tas, NT, ACT
  4. Unemployment: ACT, WA, Tas
  5. Construction work: Vic, Tas, NSW
  6. Population growth: Qld, WA, Tas
  7. Housing finance: Vic, Qld, Tas
  8. Dwelling Starts: Tas, WA, SA

The report is CommSec’s 12th, and has been designed to show which states navigated – and are coming out of – the Covid pandemic best.

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