South Australia has claimed the top spot in economic performance, marking a historic first in the 15-year history of CommSec’s State of the States report. This ascent is attributed to robust construction activity and a thriving job market.
Leading across four key economic indicators including real economic growth, unemployment, construction work, and dwelling starts, South Australia has surpassed Victoria to secure first place. Victoria now shares the second position with New South Wales, while Western Australia has moved up to fourth place from fifth. Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) have also seen improvements, rising to fifth and sixth positions respectively. Queensland, on the other hand, has dropped three places to seventh, with the Northern Territory trailing in eighth.
Craig James, Chief Economist at CommSec, noted that while Australia’s states and territories benefit from a solid job market and population growth, economic growth has slowed in response to increasing interest rates, higher borrowing costs, and price pressures.
South Australia’s population growth, which has tripled over the past two years, has translated into a robust housing market and overall economic activity. However, James warns that South Australia cannot afford complacency, as challenges from New South Wales and Victoria are expected in the near future.
The report also highlights strong economic momentum in Western Australia, with Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, and South Australia not far behind.
The CommSec State of the States report evaluates each state and territory’s economic landscape using eight key indicators: economic growth, retail spending, equipment investment, unemployment, construction, population growth, housing finance, and dwelling commencements.
Key highlights from the report include:
- South Australia leading in four indicators, including construction work done and unemployment.
- Victoria ranking second or third in three indicators, including retail spending.
- New South Wales also ranking second or third in four indicators, including unemployment.
- Western Australia topping the charts in relative population growth.
- Tasmania leading in equipment spending.
- The ACT taking the lead in retail spending.
- Queensland leading in home loans.
- The Northern Territory securing the second position in relative population growth.