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WA still Australia's economic powerhouse


Western Australia is still the nation's strongest performing economy followed closely by the Northern Territory, a report shows.

The CommSec State of the States report finds WA leading the way in four of eight criteria over the past three months.

"Western Australia remains Australia's best performing economy, ahead of the Northern Territory and both economies are likely to hold their top positions over 2013, underpinned by rising population growth," the report said on Monday.

While WA led on construction work, retail trade, population growth and equipment investment, the Northern Territory ranked first on overall economic growth and unemployment.

The report noted the Northern Territory was gaining momentum and had the potential to overtake WA at the top of the leader-board, due mainly to its faster growth in investment and population growth.

Queensland was strongest on construction work and equipment investment but was being held back by high unemployment.

CommSec expects housing activity in NSW to lift in 2013 thanks to the state's historically low unemployment and its rising population growth.

Tasmania remained at the bottom of the Australian economic performance table, falling behind on overall economic growth, retail trade, population growth and construction work.

CommSec's report measures economic performance of the states by looking at eight key indicators - economic growth, retail spending, equipment investment, unemployment, construction work done, population growth, housing finance and dwelling commencements.