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Battle of the states: strongest economy named

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New South Wales has topped the Commonwealth Bank’s yearly State of the States report for the second year in a row.

Thanks to an increasingly strong housing market and steady population growth, NSW beat out Victoria for the top spot, while the Northern Territory and Western Australia tied in third place.

Despite topping the nation from 2011 to 2013, WA has slipped in the rankings as the Australian mining boom winds up.

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“If anything, New South Wales and Victoria basically pulled away from the other states and territories,” CommSec chief economist Craig James told the ABC.

The State of the States report takes into consideration eight key indicators including economic growth, retail spending, equipment investment, unemployment, construction work done, population growth, housing finance and dwelling commencements.

It's not all bad new for Tasmania, with the jobless rate dropping. Photo: AAP
It’s not all bad new for Tasmania, with the jobless rate dropping. Photo: AAP

These results are then compared with the decade-long average of each state and territory.

Second-placed Victoria reported strong housing growth but performed less well in equipment spending.

At the bottom of the leader board were the Australian Capital Territory in fifth place, followed by South Australia and Tasmania – which again retained last place.

The NT showed particularly strong growth, with results 26 per cent above its decade average.

In comparison, Tasmania reported results just 0.6 per cent above its past decade average.

It wasn’t all bad news for Tasmania, however, with a jobless rate of 6.2 per cent a four-year low.

Both South Australia and NSW reported strong population growth, but SA lacked a growth driver to back it up.

The NT’s relatively high spot was in part thanks to high equipment spending, while housing and population growth were identified as weak areas, according to CBA’s Craig James.

“Northern Territory is a very interesting economy because for the eight indicators that we look at, on three of those Northern Territory is number one, on another three of those indicators it ranks eighth or in last spot.”

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