QUEENSLAND’S economy is lagging southern states including Victoria and New South which continue to outperform in key areas such as construction, housing starts and retail spending, according to the latest CommSec State of the States report.
Queensland’s economic performance ranked fifth behind Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales and the ACT, unchanged from the previous quarter. Only South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory performed worse.
But CommSec chief economist Craig James said that there were several positive signs that the Queensland economy would perform better in the longer term with population growth increasing and unemployment falling.
Queensland’s economy continues to lag behind most of the other states.
Victoria remained the best performer taking into account economic growth, retail spending, equipment investment, unemployment, construction work, population growth and housing finance. Victoria was followed by Tasmania and NSW in terms of overall performance.
Mr James said that in terms of economic growth. Queensland remain in third position ahead of Western Australia and Tasmania.
Retail spending in Queensland came in at fifth spot and was 9 per cent above decade averages, followed by South Australia where spending was 8.5 per cent.
Queensland was the second-worst for investment in equipment with a three per cent decline in the September quarter compared to the decade average. Dwelling starts were 18.2 per cent below the decade average.
The construction sector continues to suffer in Queensland, with work performed in the September quarter 24.2 per cent below the decade-average.
That contrasted with Victoria and NSW where construction work was 26.2 per cent and 20.8 per cent above the decade average.
Bright spots for Queensland in the survey included unemployment, with the state having the lowest trend jobless rate in 10 months at 6 per cent, and population growth, with is now up 2.3 per cent on the decade average. Actual population growth is 1.71 per cent, the second fastest after Victoria with 2.05 per cent growth.
“Population growth is a positive sign because it means more people are moving to Queensland for work, which will translate into demand for housing and retail spending,” said Mr James.”If housing prices start to tick up again in Sydney and Melbourne people may start thinking about moving up to Queensland for the lifestyle.”
Annual population growth rates in other states and territories were below decade averages, said Mr James. Victoria is down 1.2 per cent, NSW down 1.4 per cent and Western Australia down 35.9 per cent.
Work continues on the Metro Tunnel project in Melbourne.