Commsec has published its quarterly State of the States report into the financial health of each of Australia’s states and territories. The report highlights eight key indicators: economic growth, retail spending, equipment investment, unemployment, construction work done, population growth, housing finance and dwelling commencements.


The report found the following for each of the states


Western Australia

The report described the state as ‘clearly the nation’s strongest economy’, with its growth underpinned by Asian demand for mining resources. The state leads the country in terms of economic growth and equipment investment while also showing strong retail spending, constgruction work and population growth.


The report found that state’s main weakness was the residential sector’s below average dwelling commencements and falling home prices.



The ACT continues to show strong growth in four of the eight indicators – population growth, commercial & engineering construction, housing finance and dwelling starts. However, the territory has the weakest performance of all the states and territories in both unemployment and equipment investment. The aCT is also lagging behind in retail spending.


The report found that while the ACT is the nation’s second strongest economy, a resurgent South Australia and Victoria are not far behind in terms of growth.



Victoria possesses the strongest housing sector of all the states, with robust growth in dwelling starts and housing finance.  The report indicated that while these areas retained growth, housing prices were beginning to show some softening after a period of out-performance.


The state also shows strong retail spending.


South Australia

South Australia’s economy has continued to perform solidly, with overall economic growth and building and construction work continuing to be the state’s stellar performers.


However, the state continues to suffer from under-performing dwelling commencements and housing finance.



Low unemployment continues to be Tasmania’s draw card, but retail continues to underperform.


Northern Territory

The NT showed the strongest growth in retail growth while recording a low unemployment rate. Population growth, construction work and housing finance continue to be the drag on the territory’s economy.


New South Wales

NSW continues to enjoy above-average population growth, firm growth in housing finance and above-normal equipment investment. However, dwelling starts are below national levels and continue are lower than the same time last year.



Queensland’s economy is beginning to emerge from the flood damage earlier in the year, with record levels of infrastructure investment fuelling equipment investment growth. The state is also enjoying strong demand in mining and energy resources, in particular coal, from the Asian region.


Housing under-performance continues to drag on the economy, fuelled by weak population growth and unemployment levels. The report predicts a strong rebound in the coming year.


The full report can be found here