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WA named top-performing economy

by Staff Reporter10 minute read
The Adviser

CommSec has released its quarterly State of the States economic performance report, with Western Australia again rated the strongest performing economy.

The report attempts to identify how Australia’s states and territories are tracking by analysing eight key indicators: economic growth, retail spending, equipment investment, unemployment, construction work done, population growth, housing finance and dwelling commencements.

While WA only topped one of these eight indicators, retail spending, the state was ranked second in six other indicators, and fourth on dwelling starts. 

In good news for the wider economy, CommSec economist Savanth Sebastian predicted all state and territory economies would lift in the coming quarter as both consumers and businesses are showing a sustained level of optimism.


“The low interest rate environment is boosting housing construction, while rising wealth levels are supporting confidence and, in turn, spending,” he said.

According to the report, housing finance commitments for November were up on the levels of one year ago in all states and territories except the Northern Territory.

Housing finance is not just a lead indicator for real estate activity and housing construction but is also a useful indicator of activity in the financial sector, according to Mr Sebastian.

The report shows Victoria, Western Australia, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory all recorded trend housing finance commitments above decade averages.

Victoria was rated top in terms of this indicator, with the number of housing finance commitments 9.8 per cent above the decade-average level and commitments in November 12.6 per cent higher than a year ago.

NSW moved up to third spot and showed strong momentum, with an increase of 20.4 per on the figures of one year ago in trend terms, while the ACT dropped from first to fourth.

The Northern Territory was judged the weakest economy for housing finance, with trend commitments 19.2 per cent lower than its decade average.

The next weakest was Tasmania, with trend commitments down 20.4 per cent on the decade average but, encouragingly, commitments were up 20.2 per cent on a year ago.

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