An assessment of Australia's states and territories shows Western Australia is continuing to lead the way as the country's best economic performer.
CommSec's latest State of the States report puts the Northern Territory in second place, followed by the ACT, Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Tasmania.
Low unemployment and strong economic growth is underpinning the Top End.
Commsec's chief economist Craig James says there has not been a great deal of change from the last quarterly report.
"If you look across the economies, really they're pretty much the same as the previous quarter so I think what we're seeing is more of a consolidation," he said.
"And really what is clear is that Western Australia's out in front by a country mile.
Mr James says WA topped four of the eight key indicators including population growth, retail sales, equipment investment and construction work.
"If there's an area of weakness it's basically in terms of dwelling commencements," he said.
"The encouraging thing though is dwelling commencements are picking up and the housing market's picking up so perhaps Western Australia will be seeing a degree of out-performance on most of the indicators as we go through the year." The WA Treasurer Troy Buswell says it is no surprise the state's economy remains the best.
He says the report shows businesses have confidence in the local economy.
"This is a very positive report and positive reflection on the state of the West Australian economy," he said.
"Clearly we are still leading the nation in terms of driving economic growth.
"Importantly, jobs growth in Western Australia has been very strong with over 50,000 full time jobs during 2012 which is a fantastic effort." Lagging The shadow treasurer Ben Wyatt described the report as very encouraging but he says the housing industry is in crisis, with WA lagging in fifth position when it comes to building new homes.
He has laid the blame on the State Government.
"The Barnett Government did its very best to destroy the housing industry with its debacle of a building act last year which shows us now that Western Australia is number five in the construction of new homes," he said.
"No wonder we have a housing crisis in Western Australia.
"It is crystal clear that the Barnett Government's amendments to the building act saw a rapid plummet of new home approvals." Mr Buswell accepts there have been some challenges but says there are signs of improvement.
"I think there are green shoots on the horizon; first home owner grants in the December quarter last year, if you exclude the time for the first home owner boost, they are the highest they have been for nearly a decade," he said.
"There is a lot more activity in the first home buyer market towards the end of 2012 and I think we will see that upward trend continue.
The Treasurer is bullish about the future.
"Overall, the West Australian economy is very strong," he said.
"We don't see factories closing on an almost daily basis as we do in the eastern states because it is a good place to be employed and a good place to be in business.
"We are certainly forecasting state economic growth at six per cent this financial year and that is a very very robust level of economic growth and, whilst that will moderate slightly over coming years, the West Australian economy will continue to lead the nation and continue to drive jobs growth right across Australia.
Mr Buswell says it is a reminder to the Commonwealth to give WA a fair deal in relation to the GST.
"Ultimately, strong economic growth and strong population growth require State Government investment to sustain it, we have been making that investment," he said.
"This is a clear wake up call to the Commonwealth that you can't strangle the goose that continues to lay the golden egg."