Andrew Barr is celebrating the latest CommSec data on the ACT Economy:
The report found that:
— The ACT had the second highest over-performance against the decade-long average in population growth. In the September quarter 2011 the ACT had a population growth of 1.92 cent, behind only WA (2.63 per cent). The ACT and WA were the only jurisdictions in which population growth was above the decade-long average.
— The ACT was one of the best performers in economic activity. In the December 2011 quarter the ACT’s economic output was up 18.2 per cent compared to the decade-long average, behind only WA (32 per cent) and Queensland (22 per cent).
— The ACT was one of the best performers in construction work (comprising residential, commercial and engineering work). In the December quarter the ACT’s construction work was 47 per cent above the decade-long average, behind only WA (82 per cent) and Queensland (53 per cent).
— The ACT had the highest over-performance on housing finance, with housing finance commitments 6.2 per cent above the decade-long average.
— The ACT had the highest over-performance on dwelling starts, which were up 55 per cent on the decade-long average.
This latest report confirms recent ABS figures showing the robust health of the ACT economy, notably:
— The latest ABS labour force statistics show that the ACT has the lowest unemployment rate in the country, at 3.6 per cent, which is well below the national average. The ACT also has the second highest participation rate (72.2 per cent) of all jurisdictions, and
— The ACT’s economic growth, as measured by State Final Demand, grew by 2.8 per cent year-on-year to the December quarter of 2011.
UPDATE 23/04/12 14:53: The Liberal’s Brendan Smyth, however points out that the retail sector is in trouble:
The latest CommSec economic report shows the ACT has the worst retail sector in the country and highlights the extent of Canberra’s cost of living crisis, ACT Shadow Treasurer Brendan Smyth said today.
“According to the report, the ACT is at the bottom of all the States and Territories in terms of retail spending,” Mr Smyth said.
“It is clear that ACT Labor’s ever-increasing cost of living pressures are having a severe impact on Canberrans’ bottom line.
“Under ACT Labor, rates have increased by 100 per cent in many suburbs, water costs have tripled, and electricity has risen 75 per cent, with another 17 per cent rise in July. This leaves many Canberrans with little disposable income to spend on our important local retail sector.
“The report also shows the detrimental impact of ACT Labor’s $50,000+ per unit tax on the building industry, with dwelling approvals continuing to drop.
“ACT Labor is hindering a vital local industry by making it simply too expensive for developers to invest in the ACT.