WA is Australia’s Best Performing State

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By Vittorio Hernandez | April 23, 2012 8:22 AM EST

Western Australia is the best economic performer among the different states and territories in the country, the latest report of Commonwealth Securities (CommSec) released on Monday said.

The assessment, released quarterly by CommSec, measures the eight Australian states and territories against eight economic indicators. These are economic growth, retail spending, equipment investment, unemployment, construction work finished, population growth, housing finance and dwelling enhancements.

CommSec chief economist Craig James pointed out in the April report that WA is head and shoulders above the other Australian jurisdictions. The state stands out that when discussing the nation's economy because WA is class on its own.

"So when discussing the Australian economy it is best to focus on two concepts: total Australia, and Australia excluding Western Australia," Mr James was quoted by WA Today.

He said the three-speed economy is particularly felt as WA enjoys the fast speed while the other states are on the medium- or slow-speed.

Those in the medium-speed group are Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), while the rest of the states belong to the slow-speed group. Victoria managed to be part of the medium-speed group because of its strong retail spending and housing indicators, while the ACT is strong in housing indicators.

For the third group, Queensland is on top of the list because of rebuilding work and economic growth, Mr James explained. New South Wales is strong in population growth and housing finance, South Australia has good numbers when it comes to unemployment reduction, while Tasmania and the Northern Territories are the laggards with hardly any strength, except for retail spending for the Northern Territories.

These states ranked at least fourth or lower on two of the eight indicators.

Mr James forecasts that WA would continue to enjoy being on top for the coming quarters, while the ACT might be in peril because of the planned cuts in federal spending.

"But across Australia all state and territory economies except WA are struggling for momentum. A common area of weakness is housing," The Herald Sun quoted Mr James.

Despite the strong showing of WA, state Treasurer Christopher Porter was critical of the federal government's policy when it comes to GST funds.

"These results confirm the vital contribution that the Western Australian economy makes to the rest of the nation and again highlights the stupidity of the Labor policy of starving WA of the key GST funds needed to reinvest in WA so that even greater contributions can be made by WA to the national economy," WA Today quoted Mr Porter.

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