SYDNEY, Oct. 23 (Xinhua) — Australia’s southeastern states are continuing to outperform the rest of the country, new economic data showed on Monday.
CommSec’s State of the States Report showed New South Wales (NSW), Victoria (VIC) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) remain on top when measured against eight key indicators which include economic growth, retail spending, equipment investment, unemployment, construction work done, population growth, housing finance and dwelling commencements.
“Progressively we are seeing the handover from the mining and construction boom to the non-mining sectors in the economy,” CommSec senior economist Ryan Felsman explained to Xinhua.
“And that is reflected largely by the performance of NSW, VIC and the ACT, who are the economic drivers of the Australian economy at the moment.”
With an extensive amount of infrastructure projects being undertaken in NSW and particularly in Sydney, the state’s top position was cemented by record low interest rates, a nine-year low in unemployment at 4.6 percent seasonally adjusted and a pickup in retail sales.
A relatively buoyant housing market with the highest number of dwelling starts in the country also helped to secure its strong performance over the quarter.
But not far behind, Victoria saw a 2.4 percent rise in its population, the highest growth in over a decade.
This has certainly provided Victoria with a great deal of economic momentum with increases in government spending around infrastructure,” Felsman said.
Meanwhile the ACT remained steady on the back of Canberra’s strong government and education sectors.
In other states, South Australia was the biggest improver, moving from sixth position to number four with help from the State Government’s 200 million Australian dollar (156 million US dollars) Future Jobs Fund.
Following the recent closure of iconic Australian car maker Holden and the decline of a number of other manufacturing industries, South Australia has put “a lot of emphasis on spending in areas like education, tourism and also renewable energy,” Felsman said.
The state government even started to offer grants and low interest business loans to support job creation and employment growth across the state.
Tasmania and Queensland came in at fifth and sixth on list, while the Northern Territory (NT) and Western Australia (WA) lagged behind in seventh and eighth spot.
Due to the end of the mining and construction boom, population growth is continuing to slip in WA and NT,” Felsman said.
“However the job market is improving in WA with employment growth at its strongest level in about four and a half years.”
Felsman believes more investment is needed to promote new non-mining economic drivers of growth, such as tourism and agribusiness.