Mining and engineering surge pushes WA to the top
CommSec’s State of the States quarterly report shows that Western Australia has the strongest economy in the country, propelled by a strong mining and engineering sector that has driven commercial construction and a vibrant export industry based on the mining and minerals industry.
Based on eight key indicators, Western Australia has taken the lead from the ACT, which has traditionally maintained its economic strength on the back of a strong retail and housing sector as well as commercial construction.
The ACT has continued its strong performance with housing, construction and economic growth all above average while maintaining a low unemployment level and keeping the country’s best real wage gains.
Victoria has kept its lead in the housing market, with dwelling starts 20% above decade averages but also recording a higher than national average of unemployment.
South Australia has notched up the country’s highest population growth after recording strong construction sectors.
The Northern Territory has recorded the country’s lowest unemployment rate, recording 3.1% that continues to bouy its economy despite a weak construction and housing finance sector.
New South Wales has show a slow dwelling starts despite the above-average population growth and stronger business investment.
Although Queensland has recorded a severe economic contraction owing to the spate of natural disasters, which struck the state earlier in the year, its business investment in plant and equipment is well above national averages. The results come as the State Government announced its confidence that it will return to a 5% GDP this financial year.
Tasmania ‘continues to enjoy relatively low unemployment’ but has also recorded relatively low business investment and retail spending.