Melbourne, Hobart and Adelaide are steaming ahead while Sydney and drought-affected regions are struggling to keep up economically, a new report shows.
Even with the closure of the car manufacturing industry, Melbourne’s growth over the past four years is the strongest it has been in two decades.
Terry Rawnsley, from SGS Economics, on Monday launched a report looking at the economic performance of Australia’s cities and regions and said Melbourne now contributed 39.8 per cent of national GDP growth.
“The patchwork economy we have seen over the past decade has become ever more disparate during 2018/19,” Mr Rawnsley said.
“The drought has affected many rural economies across Australia while the perennial underperforming economies of Adelaide and Tasmania are booming.
“Melbourne has reached its highest GDP growth rate on record, yet Sydney’s economy continues to slow. I’ve never seen growth rates like this.”
While growth in the Sydney economy weakened, the harbour city still contributed 32.9 per cent of Australian GDP growth in 2018-19, largely focused along the corridor from the Sydney CBD to Macquarie Park.
Regional New South Wales’ GDP growth was minus 0.3 per cent, due to the ongoing drought. Since 2016/17, the impact of the drought saw agricultural production fall almost 20 per cent.
Melbourne’s GDP grew four per cent, Tasmania grew 3.6 per cent and Adelaide grew 3.2 per cent.
“Historically, Tasmania’s economy hasn’t kept up with the national average but in the past two years Tasmania’s GDP growth has boomed,” Mr Rawnsley said.
“Our analysis shows that every industry contributed to Tasmania’s economic growth, which is great news.”
But Perth’s GDP grew just 0.1 per cent in 2018/19.
“This low growth and Perth’s sizeable recession in 2016-17 means there has been almost no growth in the Perth economy over the past five years,” Mr Rawnsley said.
After several years of trending upwards, Brisbane’s GDP growth slowed to 2.6 per cent. The city’s GDP was $177 billion, which represents 9.3 per cent of the national figure.
Regional Queensland is also suffering due to the drought, while the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast appear to be suffering from the impacts of the property downturn over the past two years.