Thursday, November 22, 2012

Our new economic landscape: Western Australia, then daylight

Gross State Product per head

Western Australia: $100,100

Australian Capital Territory: $87,500
Northern Territory: $80,400
Queensland: $61,500
Victoria: $58,100
NSW: $62,000
South Australia: $55,300
Tasmania: $47,400

International comparisons

Luxembourg: $US115,800
United States: $US48,300
United Kingdom: $US38,800

ABS 5220.0

A decade ago each Western Australian produced little more than did each resident of NSW and Victoria. Official figures released Wednesday describe a nation transformed with each West Australian now producing 61 per cent more than each resident of NSW and 72 per cent more than each Victorian. If Western Australia was a nation its GDP per head would be exceeded only by Luxembourg.

The state accounts produced by the Bureau of Statistics show Western Australia now makes up 16 per cent of the Australian economy, up from 11 per cent a decade earlier. NSW has shrunk from 35 per cent of the national economy to 31 per cent and Victoria from 25 to 22 per cent. The combined share of Australia’s two biggest states is now just 53 per cent, down from 60 per cent a decade earlier.

The mining industry is responsible for around half of Western Australia’s economic growth, for only one eighth of NSW growth, and for none of Victoria’s. In the past year the financial services industry has contributed the most to NSW growth, and professional services the most to Victoria’s growth.

The new league table has the Western Australia growing by far the fastest of the states at the blistering annual pace of 6.7 per cent, followed by the Northern Territory at 4.4 per cent and Queensland at 4 per cent. In the slow lane are NSW (2.4 per cent), Victoria (2.3 per cent), South Australia (2.1 per cent) and Tasmania (0.5 per cent).

Western Australia now produces $100,100 per head, well above the $62,000 per head total in NSW and $58,100 in Victoria. Only the Northern Territory and the high-wage Australian Capital Territory come close producing $80,400 and $87,500 per head. Queensland produces $61,500 per head and Tasmania $47,400.

The gross state product figures are calculated only once each year and provide a more reliable guide to the economic performance of each state than the state final demand figures released quarterly.

International Monetary Fund calculations show only the tax haven of Luxembourg ahead of Western Australia with a GDP per head of $US115,800 in 2010... The international runners up, coming behind Western Australia, are Qatar ($US98,100), Norway ($US97,600) and Switzerland ($US83,100).

In terms of sheer economic size Western Australia would now be the world’s 40th biggest economy if it was a sovereign nation, ranked between Portugal and Israel.

The figures show that dispute Australia’s 21 continuous years of economic growth, every state other than Western Australia has slipped in terms of production per capita at some time in the last few years. NSW, Victoria and Queensland went backwards during the global financial crisis in 2008-09. Victoria and Queensland also went backwards in 2009-10. South Australia’s output per head slipped in 2009-10 and Tasmania’s in 2009-10 and 2010-11.

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