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State's economy picking up speed as southerners continue to pour in

Business

Queensland and Western Australia showed the strongest economic momentum despite sitting at or near the bottom of most of the major indices in CommSec’s State of the States report.

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Internal migration was powering the two states but Queensland ranked seventh, only ahead of the Northern Territory on the overall table.

The report, which compares the economic performance against a decade average, showed Tasmania was maintaining its position as the best performing economy.

CommSec chief economist Craig James said all states and territories were performing solidly, despite the pandemic lockdowns and travel restrictions.

Queensland ranked third on relative population growth, relative unemployment and retail trade.

Looking over the year to June, employment in six of the states and territories recorded annual gains. Doing best was Queensland (jobs up by 9.7 per cent) followed by Western Australia (up 7.6 per cent); Tasmania (up 6.3 per cent); South Australia (up 5.6 per cent) and NSW (up 5.4 per cent)

“Queensland has scope to improve its economic performance in the second half of 2021 due to an improvement in the job market and rising in-bound migration. The jobless rate stands at 12-year lows,’’ James said.

“Similarly, the Western Australian economy has significant momentum provided by strong demand and higher prices in the mining sector. Home building is also strong with dwelling starts at five and half year highs.”

“Tasmania remains in top-position in the economic performance rankings. Tasmania leads the nation on four of the eight indicators assessed. It’s unlikely to face any challenge to its dominance on the key economic indicators for at least the next six months.

Queensland, Northern Territory and NSW have annual growth rates exceeding the national average on five of the eight indicators.

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