More damning statistics out of CommSec’s quarterly State of the States report have shown South Australia to be the weakest performing mainland economy in the country, ranking only ahead of Tasmania overall.
Whilst data in the report shows South Australia to rank fourth in construction and fifth in business investment, the state is either sixth of seventh in every other economic indicator, such as retail spending, equipment investment, housing finance and dwelling commencements, and perhaps most importantly, population growth.
South Australia’s unemployment rate rose from 5.7 per cent to 6.7 per cent in just 12 months, another factor behind its low ranking.
Not surprisingly, Western Australia – the leading state for population growth – retained its number one overall economic ranking, topping the retail spending category, and ranking second in six of the other eight indicators.
Author of the report, economist Savanth Sebastian, blames stagnant population growth across Tasmania’s economy as one of the key reasons for its struggles, a criticism equally applicable to SA.
‘These figures provide further evidence that low population growth is hurting our local economy,’ says Managing Director of Migration Solutions, Mark Glazbrook.
‘More people means greater population growth, which creates demand for new dwellings, goods and services, and increased consumer spending.
‘This increase in demand creates new jobs, and supports our existing workforce.’
– Source: CommSec quarterly ‘State of the States Report’