New South Wales is the leading Australian economy, according to the State of the States economic performance report by CommSec.
For the first time since 2011, there is a new leader at the top of Australia’s economic performance rankings. New South Wales jumped from third place to first place in October, ahead of the previously top-ranked economy, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
Craig James, chief economist at CommSec, says New South Wales recorded the fastest annual economic growth rate in the nation, up by 6.3% on a year ago. Western Australia, which ranked second, recorded 3.3% growth over the year.
The state’s housing market underpins its rise to the top, as New South Wales plays “catch-up” after years of underbuilding.
“NSW remains the strongest in the nation for new home construction, with starts over 36% above decade averages. In addition in the June quarter the number of dwellings started was 7.3% higher than a year earlier,” the report says.
Glenn Byres, NSW executive director of the Property Council Australia, says continuing the momentum in property construction is crucial in the state’s economic recovery.
“A mix of well-targeted incentives, infrastructure investment, lower borrowing costs and favourable market conditions has helped NSW achieve its best housing starts in a decade,” he said.
“We know the State’s economy does well when the property industry prospers given it contributes one in 10 jobs in NSW and pays over $16 billion in wages to workers.
“The real challenge is sustaining the current momentum – and the robust pipeline of current and next-generation infrastructure projects will fuel more investment.”
New South Wales also ranked second on retail trade, business investment and unemployment indicators, according to the report.