The State of Our States | CommSec

How are Australia’s states and territories performing?

Each quarter CommSec attempts to find out by analysing eight key indicators: economic growth; retail spending; equipment investment; unemployment; construction work done; population growth; housing finance and dwelling commencements.

Just as the Reserve Bank uses long-term averages to determine the level of “normal” interest rates; CommSec have done the same with the economic indicators.

For each state and territory, latest readings for the key indicators were compared with decade averages – that is, against the “normal” performance.

Here’s a summary of their latest State of Our States report.

New South Wales

Strength: Population Growth

Weakness: Economic Growth


Insights into NSW

NSW has retained its top rankings on population growth, retail trade and dwelling starts but now adds housing finance to the list.

NSW is still second placed on unemployment and is also second strongest on equipment investment.

The other rankings are: construction work (fourth) and economic growth (fifth).


Strength: Dwelling Starts

Weakness: Equipment spending

vic overview

Insights into Victoria 

Victoria has consolidated second spot on the economic performance rankings.

Victoria’s main strengths are population growth, housing finance and dwelling starts (second ranked on each indicator).

Northern Territory

Strength: Equipment Spending

Weakness: Population Growth

Insights into NT

Northern Territory is top ranked on economic growth, business investment and construction work done.

But the ‘top end’ economy is last ranked on population growth, housing finance and dwelling starts.

Western Australia

Strength: Economic Growth

Weakness: Unemployment


Insights into WA

Western Australia has is second on retail trade, economic growth and construction work, but higher unemployment (eighth ranked) has impacted housing activity.


Strength: Retail Spending

Weakness: Construction Work


Insights into QLD

Queensland retains fifth position on the economic performance table but it is clear that it is now in a third grouping of economies with the ACT, South Australia and Tasmania.

Australian Capital Territory

Strength: Housing Finance

Weakness: Unemployment

Insights into ACT

The ACT economy has retained sixth position on economic performance.

South Australia

The territory ranks third on economic growth and housing finance but is seventh ranked on three indicators.

Strength: Population Growth

Weakness: Dwelling Starts

Insights into South Australia

South Australia has held seventh spot on the economic performance rankings but Tasmania is showing better momentum.

South Australia does best on population growth and equipment investment (both third ranked) but is seventh ranked on three indicators.


Strength: Unemployment

Weakness: Retail Spending

Insights into TAS

Tasmania remains at the bottom of the Australian economic performance table.

But importantly Tasmania is now top ranked on unemployment and third ranked for dwelling commencements.

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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who create wealth for their clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit

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