Tasmania continues dominance as top state


Tasmania has secured top slot among Australia’s states and territories for a sixth straight quarter with little likely to budge in the next six months, Commonwealth Securities says in its quarterly State of States report.

But CommSec chief economist Craig James is also quick to point out that all states and territories are performing solidly.

“That is no small feat in an environment dominated by COVID-19 with the frequent but necessary lockdowns and border closures,” he says.

Half the population is currently in lockdown due to restrictions in NSW, Victoria and South Australia.

Each quarter CommSec assesses states and territory economies on eight key indicators – economic growth, retail spending, equipment investment, unemployment, construction work done, population growth, housing finance and dwelling commencements.

Tasmania holds the mantle of the best performing economy, leading on four of the eight indicators and is ranked second on another two.

Its success in suppressing the virus has meant the state hasn’t been forced to lockdown its economy to the same extent as others, although it has had to close borders, the report says

There is little to separate the other economies with Victoria second, ACT third, South Australia fourth, NSW fifth, Western Australia sixth, Queensland seventh and the Northern Territory eighth.

Victoria ranks first on two of the eight indicators – housing finance and construction work done, while the ACT leads the nation on retail trade, with spending almost 18 per cent above the decade average.

But CommSec says it is difficult to identify the economy that will challenge Tasmania.

“Much will continue to depend on COVID-19 case numbers and vaccination rates – the latter holding the key to restoring a sense of ‘normality’ and reducing both uncertainty and volatility,” the report says.