NSW has overtaken WA as the nation’s strongest economy as the mining boom fades, according to CommSec research.

NSW has knocked off Western Australia as the country’s strongest economy, as the glow of the mining investment boom continues to fade.

It is the first time NSW has topped CommSec’s quarterly State of the States report since mid-2011.

The nation’s most populous state rose from third place, knocking WA into second and the Northern Territory into third, ahead of Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, the ACT and Tasmania.

CommSec ranks the states and territories on eight key measures, including economic growth, unemployment, retail spending, housing finance and population growth.

NSW is currently enjoying the strongest population growth and housing construction, plus the second best retail trade, business investment and unemployment, CommSec said.

“The simple reason for the lift in the rankings is housing,” CommSec economists Craig James and Savanth Sabastian said.

“NSW is currently playing catch-up after years of under-building, where demand for homes exceeded supply, pushing the rental vacancy rate to record lows.”

WA lost ground due to weaker retail trade, equipment investment and population growth, all linked to dwindling mining investment.

Low unemployment and strong equipment investment held NT in third place.

CommSec said Victoria’s continued population growth was propping up its housing market and construction, but it lags behind most states in commercial and engineering activity.

Queensland’s high unemployment is weighing it down, despite strong non-residential building activity and business investment.

SA overtook the ACT due to stronger population growth and lower unemployment.

NSW Premier Mike Baird puts his state’s good results in the CommSec report down to housing and infrastructure.

“When we first came into government the focus we had was to get housing moving and to get infrastructure moving – both of those have played a key role,” he told ABC radio on Monday.


1 – NSW, up from 3rd in July

2 – WA, down from 1st

3 – NT, down from 2nd

4 – Vic, up from 5th

5 – Qld, down from 4th

6 – SA, up from 7th

7 – ACT, down from 6th

8 – Tas, steady