Mining investments fuel top ranked WA economy

The CommSec State of the States report, released today, lists Western Australia as the nation's fastest growing economy, thanks to an increase in mining investment and construction.

Mining-related construction and investments have driven Western Australia up to the top ranking in CommSec’s quarterly report on the economies of the States and Territories.

The State of the States report, released today, revealed that WA had tied with the Australian Capital Territory to overtake Tasmania on the top rung.

The State’s level of output in the September quarter was 26% greater than its average level in the previous decade, making it the nation’s fastest growing economy, according to the report.

WA also experienced the highest rise in real wages.

According to CommSec chief economist Craig James, WA appears to have the best prospects of all the states and territories.

“The ranking is underpinned by solid investment spending in mining and engineering sectors,” he said.

“The ACT and Tasmania have been insulated from the US financial crisis, but momentum has returned to Western Australia in response to the strong recovery of the Chinese economy.

“Western Australia should maintain its spot at the top of the leader-board in early 2010.”

Queensland’s economy, also driven by its resources sector, experienced the third fastest growth in the September quarter, rising by 21% on its average level of output from the previous decade.

“While economic growth in Queensland has slowed over the past year with companies deciding to mothball new projects, actual activity levels are still well above levels considered ‘normal’ for the state over the past decade,” James said.

CommSec assesses each state on eight key indicators; their economic growth, retail spending, business investment, construction work, population growth, housing finance, dwelling commencements and unemployment.

Tasmania and South Australia occupied the third and fourth places, while NSW was again at the foot of the rankings.

James said there was little to separate the economies of the top six states and territories.

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