Nerida Conisbee: Canberra tops the country for economic growth

It was a great year for mining, we were all travelling again and population growth surged.

The pandemic bounce back continued despite a range of global and local challenges, with every state and territory recording economic growth, with the exception of the Northern Territory. 

Despite all this, it was the ACT that topped the list for economic growth, driven by growth in Federal Government employment.

The Albanese Labor Government came into power in May 2022 and these growth figures reflect a full year in government and a roll out of many new Commonwealth programs.

This strong economic growth also showed up in house price growth.

Canberra isn’t topping the country for price growth but it is strong for both houses and units, in excess of five per cent for both, over the past 12 months. 

While the ACT topped the list, South Australia came in second.

This state has been the strongest performer since 2021.

While agriculture was a significant contributor, mining also played a role, particularly for copper.

The green energy mineral momentum that is driving Western Australia is now also pushing up economic growth in South Australia.

In addition to this, tourism was also a factor in its strong performance. 

While we saw growth almost everywhere, it wasn’t the case in the Northern Territory.

While mining contributed to growth in WA and SA, a decline in oil and gas extraction pushed down economic output for NT.

Tasmania saw some economic growth, but lagged behind the other states, primarily because of the relatively sluggish performance of agriculture in that state. 

What is the outlook for next year?

Agriculture is set for a tough year, off the back of drought, which will impact many parts of the country.

More positively, mining continues to be a strong part of the economy and population growth is set to continue.

With so many moving parts it is difficult to predict which state will see the biggest jump in economic growth.

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Nerida Conisbee

Nerida Conisbee is the Chief Economist at Ray White.