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ACT overtakes NT as second best economy

By Steven Cross
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A surprise shuffle of the country’s best performing state and territory economies has seen the ACT leap to second place.

Western Australia remains Australia’s best performing economy, leading the way on housing finance, retail trade and equipment investment, according to CommSec’s quarterly State of the States report.

However, the report also shows that WA has slipped in indicators such as unemployment.

The ACT had overtaken the Northern Territory as Australia’s second strongest economy, driven by housing finance, equipment investment and population growth.

“The switching in the rankings of the Northern Territory and the ACT is largely due to weakening in the performance of the job market in the Northern Territory and improvement in the job market in the ACT,” the report read.

The ACT is the third strongest jurisdiction for employment, up from eighth place in the last report.

Remaining in the middle of the rankings were New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, which showed little change. New South Wales was the strongest on employment and the third strongest on population growth.

Victoria is the second strongest on housing finance and employment, and Queensland has performed well on economic growth, equipment, investment, construction work done and retail spending.

South Australia remained at seventh place, while Tasmania had the nation’s worst performing economy.

The report assessed the states and territories on eight key indicators, including economic growth, retail spending, unemployment, population growth, housing finance and dwelling commencements.

Chief economist for CommSec Craig James said that all economies would lift once the uncertainty of the federal election was out of the way. He added that there would be further growth in the housing sector.

“While new investment in mining and engineering construction is easing, the housing sector is providing a source of new growth, especially in regions where population growth is strongest,” he said.

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