A recent report shows that WA has tumbled from first to seventh among the nation’s economies in just two years.

Queensland and Western Australia have each fallen one place on the latest Commsec State of the States report list to sixth and seventh respectively but there is now little separating the three bottom-ranked economies including Tasmania.

NSW has extended its lead over Victoria as the nation’s strongest economy, based on economic growth indicators such as spending on retail and equipment investment, population growth, unemployment, construction work and housing finance.

Western Australia comes last in terms of unemployment, which hit six per cent earlier this year, third on retail trade, fourth on construction work and seventh on business investment, population growth and housing finance.

“Western Australia’s relative economic performance has deteriorated, the WA economy is still performing but in relative terms the other states which are actually doing a lot better at the moment including Victoria and NSW,” CommSec chief economist Craig James said.

“Slower population growth and continuing high unemployment will continue to hinder activity in the state’s housing market.”

West Australian Treasurer Mike Nahan has dismissed  the report saying it was benchmarked against the strong economic performance achieved during the commodities boom, so it did not mean the state’s economy was performing poorly.

“Ten years ago we saw massive investment, 30 per cent increase in jobs and 30 per cent in household income. The other states didn’t have that but we do,” he told reporters.

“The growth rate has slowed but we’re still, even with this adjustment, the best state to live in, the best state for investment, the best state with the strongest future.”

Mr James said WA and other states and territories must take advantage of the opportunity to market their products, such as Margaret River wines our tourism, to the Asian region, which he said loved Australian products.

Opposition leader Mark McGowan said the figures in the Commsec report were “very disturbing” and “shameful”.

“We’ve known this is the case for a very long period of time, that’s why we came of with out Plan for Jobs, that’s why we need to have an overarching economic plan for broadening our economy,” he said.

“Unfortunately Mr Barnett and the Liberal Party have let the state down… They’ve got their head in the sand about the economic circumstances facing West Australians and WA businesses.”

“It’s shameful after all those years of economic success that the government didn’t set money aside and didn’t plan for the inevitable downturn.”



Source: Perth Now

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