Tasmania Rated Australia’s Number One State Economy: CommSec

April 27, 2021 Updated: April 27, 2021

According to a report, Tasmania has been rated as the best-performing state economy for the fifth quarter in a row, with the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) maintaining the second spot.

CommSec’s State of States report (pdf) measures and analyses the economic performances for each state and territory over every quarter against the 10-year average, or “normal” performance, for eight key indicators.

Western Australia (WA) moved up to the third place from sixth, its highest ranking in six years, on the back of a significant mining boom and jump in homebuilding.

The indicators are economic growth, retail spending, equipment investment, unemployment, construction work, population growth, housing finance, and dwelling commencements.

Tasmania and the ACT both lead on three different economic indicators, while Tasmania’s lowest ranking in the other indicators was third.

“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,” CommSec Chief Economist Craig James said. “As a result, it’s unlikely we’ll see any considerable change at the top of the rankings in the near future.

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein told The Examiner that the report was “a vindication” of his government’s economic management as the state election approaches this Saturday.

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CommSec’s State Rankings

  1. Tasmania

Tasmania stays at the top of CommSec’s state economic rankings after leading the country in three of the eight economic indicators; relative population growth, equipment investment and dwelling starts.

  1. Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

The ACT leads other states on relative unemployment, retail trade and relative economic growth. Retail spending was 19.4 percent above the decade average in the nation’s capital territory, overtaking Tasmania.

  1. Western Australia (WA)

Up by three spots, WA currently ranks third, which is its highest ranking in six years. Despite WA’s overall jump in rankings, James said the state faces major challenges as they fell dramatically in equipment investment and retail trade this quarter.

  1. Victoria

Dropping one spot from third, while Victoria still ranks at the top for construction work and housing finance, it has been dragged down by its relative unemployment and employment growth figures.

  1. South Australia (SA)

SA’s strongest performance comes from relative population growth and stands at the middle to bottom of the pack for other indicators.

  1. Queensland

Queensland was second in housing finance while doing poorly in equipment investment and relative economic growth. James believes it will be able to lift its rank later this year.

“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,” James said.

  1. New South Wales

NSW shows a disappointing performance as it slides further down from its previous sixth spot. The state ranked third in construction work done, while its annual population is growing at the slowest rate in over 25 years.

  1. Northern Territory

NT ranks last for the 10th consecutive quarter of CommSec’s State of States reports. It performed best in equipment investment. However, it ranked poorly in all other areas.