Saturday, November 18, 2017

Gross State Product. Victoria top, NSW the real winner

Victoria has Australia's top-performing state economy, but the real prizes have gone to NSW and South Australia.

The annual Bureau of Statistics measure of state domestic product puts Victoria's economic growth at 3.3 per cent throughout 2016-17. NSW recorded weaker growth of 2.9 per cent, South Australia 2.2 per cent, Queensland 1.8 per cent and Tasmania 1.1 per cent. Western Australia's economy shrank 2.7 per cent.

But the league table takes no account of population growth.

Victoria had by far the strongest population growth during 2016-17. NSW and Queensland were well behind, and the other states even further behind. When adjusted for population, gross state product per resident grew fastest in South Australia (1.6 per cent) and NSW (1.3 per cent). Victoria's gross state product per resident grew just 0.9 per cent.


The Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory did better than the states on all measures. The ACT recorded economic growth of 4.6 per cent and growth per resident of 2.9 per cent and the Northern Territory recording growth of 4 per cent and 3.7 per cent.

Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas brushed aside the per capita measure to declare that the overall 3.3 per cent result was higher than at any point during the previous term of the Liberal National Party government.

"This data once again shows the strength of Victoria's economy, and reinforces the direction we've steered our economy across three successive budgets – with a focus on the infrastructure and services Victorians need," he said.

In both big states the growth was broadly based with the production of "professional, scientific and technical services" the biggest contributor.

"For the past five years professional, scientific and technical services have been a bit sick, because the end of the mining construction boom took away the jobs of engineers and geophysicists and architects," said Terry Rawnsley of SGS Economics and Planning. "Now it looks as if the infrastructure and construction booms in Sydney and Melbourne have taken up the slack."

NSW accounts for 33 per cent of Australia's economy, Victoria 24 per cent, Queensland 18 per cent, Western Australia 13 per cent and South Australia 6 per cent.

Production per resident is highest in the mining-dominated Northern Territory ($103,763), the low-population ACT ($92,436), mining-dominated Western Australia ($90,799), NSW ($71,541), Victoria ($63,900) and Queensland ($63,212).


Because much of the income from that production goes to corporations or overseas, a better measure of living standards is gross disposable household income per capita. It is $91,627 in the ACT, $62,893 in the Northern Territory, $51,412 in Western Australia, $50,814 in NSW and $43,516 in Queensland.

In The Age and Sydney Morning Herald