While all states performed solidly, the Apple Isle leads on four of the eight indicators of economic growth: retail spending, relative unemployment, construction work done and dwelling commencements. It is second ranked on another three: equipment investment, population growth and relative economic growth. The state’s weakest indicator was housing finance.
In second place was ACT, followed by Western Australia and NSW in equal third, South Australia and Victoria in equal fifth; Queensland in seventh; and the Northern Territory eighth. CommSec chief economist Craig James said that while Tasmania leads, there was strong performance across the board and little to separate the economies.
“While we are in a COVID environment, what we have seen is fairly solid performance by all states and territories, particularly in terms of the jobless rates, which have been historically low right across Australia,” he said in a video report.
“The challengers to Tasmania’s top position could come from any one of the other seven.”
The other states’ strengths were:
• ACT was ranked first on equipment investment and second on retail trade.
• NSW is ranked first on housing finance
• Western Australia ranks first on relative economic growth and is second-ranked on relative unemployment.
• South Australia ranks second on both dwelling starts and construction work done.
• Victoria ranks second on housing finance and third on construction work done.
• Queensland is ranked third on relative population growth, relative unemployment and retail trade. Mr James said its economy would also benefit from opening to tourism.
• Northern Territory is top ranked on relative population growth. Mr James also said the territory had “economic momentum on its side”.
Mr James said it would be interesting to see what happens with the rankings over the next year or so, particularly once state borders open and economies begin operating more normally than they have over the past few months.