WA economy on the up

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The performance of the Western Australian and ACT economies have trumped that of their counterparts, according to the Commonwealth Bank.

The bank’s State of the States report reveals that the Western Australian economy continued to thrive over the last quarter on the back of its mining and construction.  However, it warned that the housing sector remains shaky, with new dwelling construction 10% below decade averages, and with housing prices falling. 

Canberra, meanwhile, recorded by far the strongest figures for new dwellings and housing finance, up 82% and 15.5% respectively on decade-averages, most likely as a result of strong population growth: however, unemployment and retail spending remains weak.

In contrast, of the remaining capital cities, the next best for new constructions is the Northern Territory at around 40% above decade-averages, while Melbourne construction was 22% above average and Sydney’s dwelling starts were 17% below average. 

The report also revealed a weakened housing market in Queensland due to the devastating natural disasters earlier this year. Queensland has the worst growth in new constructions at 25% below decade-long averages. Even so, Commsec chief economist Craig James believes that, once rebuilding is fully underway, the benefits should be felt through the states broader economy. South Australia and Tasmania had only minor fluctuations in new dwellings this quarter.  

Home lending figures were strongest in the ACT, followed by Victoria, up 0.5% above the long-term average.  All other states and territories recorded negative growth.

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