>The CommSec State of States
analysis rated Australia's state and territory economies on eight key indicators.
While Tasmania came last on most factors, the state secured sixth place for housing finance, with a 20 per cent improvement over the last 12 months.
“The strength in housing finance may provide the state economy with a platform for improvement in coming quarters,” the report states.
However, CommSec warns stagnant population growth and weakness in commercial, construction and business investment may continue to hamper economic activity.
At the other end of the spectrum, Western Australia remains the country’s strongest performer, coming top in retail trade and second in six other categories.
Western Australia’s strong results flagged only for dwelling starts, with a fourth place ranking for this indicator.
The Northern Territory moved past the Australian Capital Territory into second place, with strong economic growth and improvements in the unemployment rate.
However, the Territory placed last for housing finance, with commitments 19.2 per cent lower than its decade average.
The ACT and Queensland tied for third place, with the report stating the ACT’s “main weakness was a loss of business momentum”.
While Queensland finished second to last for population growth, it came top for business investment and had strong finishes for economic growth, retail trade and construction work.
New South Wales and Victoria came in next, with second to last finishes on economic growth and construction work respectively.