Victoria now has the best performing economy in the nation while momentum is building in the west.
That’s according to the latest State of the States report from CommSec, which says strong economic activity, solid retail spending and business investment catapulted Victoria to the top of the list for the first time in more than a year.
South Australia came in second followed by NSW, Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania, the ACT and Northern Territory.
The quarterly ranking considers retail spending, economic growth, construction, population growth, unemployment, equipment investment, housing finance and dwelling commencements.
Economic activity in Victoria in the last quarter was 7.7 per cent above the four year average while equipment investment was up almost 20 per cent on the decade average, fuelling its rise from fifth to first place.
However, CommSec Chief Economist Craig James said there wasn’t much of a gap between the top performing economies.
“While the lift from fifth to first is surprising, we knew coming into this quarter there was little to separate the economic performance of the states and territories,” Mr James said.
“We expect Victoria to face challenges from the other economies in the period ahead.”
He pointed towards Western Australia, with a strong annual growth rate in three of the eight measures and the nation’s overall greatest relative population growth.
NSW, Victoria and Queensland tied for second place on economic momentum.
Other highlights included Queensland ranking first on home loans, South Australia leading on relative unemployment, ACT on retail spending and Tasmania topping equipment spending and dwelling starts.
NSW came second or third in half of the factors measured while the Northern Territory came in fourth on relative population growth.
While economies have slowed due to higher interest rates, the report questioned how long that would continue.
It said firm population growth, low unemployment and a tighter rental market pointed to stronger dwelling construction in 2024.
(Australian Associated Press)