17 January 2011

Report reveals ACT as strongest region in Australian economy

The standout economy in Australia is the Australian Capital Territory, a new report has found.

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A new report has revealed that the ACT leads the Australian economy.

The territory has experienced strong population growth and low unemployment, which has fuelled demand for housing and other infrastructure, CommSec's State of the States report reveals.

ACT leads the Australian economy after Western Australia lost momentum over the three months to December due to higher unemployment.

"The ACT economy may be small, but effectively all engines of growth are firing," the CommSec report said.

"The ACT economy continues to outperform on most measures, but Western Australia has slipped back towards the pack while the NSW economy has made up ground."

The CommSec report said there was little to separate Victoria, South Australia, the Northern Territory, Tasmania and NSW, although NSW had made improvements over the previous quarter due to above-average population growth and more business investment.

The weakness in NSW remained in construction with below average home building activity and sluggish commercial and engineering activity.

In Queensland, rebuilding and refurbishment activity is expected to pick up the economy as the flood recovery process gathers steam. Coal production is also expected to pick up and add to the economy in the second half of the year.

The analysis was based on economic growth, retail spending, equipment investment, unemployment, construction work done, population growth, housing finance and dwelling commencements. 

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