Western Australia has the country’s strongest economy, with retail spending a key driver according to the State of the States performance report from CommSec.
CommSec uses eight indicators for its rankings – retail spending, economic growth, equipment investment, unemployment, construction, population growth, housing, finance and dwelling commencements.
WA is ranked as the top-performing state economy after achieving second place in five of the eight indicators, and reaching first place in retail spending.
Retail spending in WA throughout the June quarter was 23.9 per cent above average levels for the past decade. The Commsec report attributes this to solid population growth, a lift in home purchases and firm wage growth in the state.
CommSec chief economist Craig James said all economies will start seeing a boost now the uncertainty from the federal election is over.
This news comes in addition to Roy Morgan data showing consumer confidence has jumped to its highest level since January 2011.
The Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Rating has risen 4.4 points since October 5-6 to reach 124.2, the highest level in 34 months.
The Roy Morgan confidence survey showed 42 per cent of Australians expect the county’s economy to experience ‘good times’ over the next five years, compared to only 17 per cent that expect ‘bad times’.
As well as increased confidence in the state and national economy, more Australians are feeling confident about their own financial situations, with 33 per cent saying they are financially better off now than this time last year.
The increased consumer confidence is good news for retailers in Australia as a growing majority of Australians (55 per cent, up four points) claim now is a ‘good time to buy’ major household items.
Retail spending may be set to receive a further boost this Christmas as Roy Morgan Chief Executive Gary Morgan explains “a successful resolution to the political stalemate in the US should provide a further boost to confidence in Australia as we head towards the important Christmas retailing season.”