Each quarter CommSec attempts to find out which state or territory is Australia’s economic leader. Now in its 14th year, the report also includes a section comparing annual growth rates for the eight key indicators across the states and territories as well as Australia as a whole, enabling comparisons in terms of economic momentum.

Overall the economic performances of Australian states and territories are being supported by strong job and
commodity markets at a time of rising interest rates. The future path of both housing and job markets will determine how economies perform over 2023. For the first time, Queensland is Australia’s top-performing economy. Queensland’s economic activity has benefitted from strong relative and absolute population growth, a strong job market and buoyant overseas demand for energy resources, such as coal and natural gas.

Tasmania is now in second position but there is little to separate the top two economies. So, to summarise, Queensland is now in top spot from Tasmania. South Australia has lifted from fifth to third with the lowest jobless rate on record. NSW is now in fourth place with Victoria and the ACT is sixth. There is little to separate these three

Western Australia is seventh. And the Northern Territory is eighth.

For the first time in the 13-year history of the State of the States’ economic performance rankings, Queensland is in top spot. The previous best ranking for Queensland was second in the previous survey.


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Queensland ranks first on relative population growth and relative unemployment and second on three indicators—retail trade, relative economic growth and housing finance.

Strong migration growth has provided momentum for the Queensland economy, assisted by a strong job market and an energy resources boom.

Tasmania is now in second position. South Australia has lifted from fifth to third. NSW, Victoria and ACT come next followed by Western Australia and Northern Territory.

In terms of the leading positions on the economic indicators, Queensland leads the rankings on relative population growth and relative unemployment. The ACT leads on housing finance.

Western Australia leads on relative economic growth. South Australia leads on construction work done and dwelling starts.

Victoria is top ranked on retail spending. When looking across annual growth rates of the eight economic indicators, Queensland had annual growth rates that exceeded the national average on five of the eight indicators.

Originally published by Craig James, Chief Economist and Ryan Felsman, Senior Economist, CommSec