Media release – Peter Gutwein, Premier and Treasurer, 27 January 2021
Tasmania leads the way again in State of the States CommSec Report for the fourth quarter in a row
The latest CommSec State of the States Report for January 2021 has found Tasmania now holds the mantle of the best performing economy in the country for the last four consecutive quarters.
Tasmania comes out on top in four of the Report’s economic indicators, including relative population growth, equipment investment, dwelling starts and retail trade.
CommSec found that equipment investment was up 7.7 per cent on the decade average, demonstrating the resilience and confidence of our business owners who are willing to invest in their future after the disruption of last year.
CommSec noted that “In the September quarter, only Tasmania had equipment spending above decade average levels…”
Tasmania also remained in top spot for dwelling starts which were 23.5 per cent above the decade average, with CommSec stating that “Home building has been strong in Tasmania because population growth is well above ‘normal’ and home prices are still relatively low compared with the mainland.”
We also lead the way in retail rankings, with CommSec noting that “Retail spending was 23 per cent above decade-average levels in the September quarter. Success in suppressing the COVID-19 virus boosted confidence, while government cash handouts and wage subsidies supported incomes.”
These gains do not happen by accident. They are proof that because we entered the pandemic from a position of strength, with one of the strongest economies in the nation and no net debt, we were able to use our balance sheet as an economic stabiliser and deliver the largest economic and social support package in the nation as a proportion of our economy.
When I released the 2021-21 State Budget I said it would be about jobs, confidence and the community and we are delivering on this plan.
The Budget’s $5 billion infrastructure program across the next four year will support around 25,000 jobs and will make it easier for Tasmanian businesses to employ through a $22 million investment in apprentices, trainees and youth employees.
The evidence that our economy is recovering continues to mount, with the CommSec Report coming on top of the recent ABS Labour Force data for December 2020 which confirms a significant number of jobs are coming back. Since May, more than three quarters of Tasmanians have returned to work.
We will continue to focus on growing our economy, creating jobs, and getting more Tasmanians back into work as we continue to rebuild a stronger Tasmania and this report is proof that we’re delivering on our plan and doing exactly that.
David O’Byrne MP, Shadow Treasurer, 27 January 2021
Commsec report no reason for complacency
The latest CommSec State of the States Economic Performance Report has mixed messages on the performance of the Tasmanian economy with key annual data pointing to challenging economic conditions in 2021.
Shadow Treasurer David O’Byrne said while the CommSec rolling 10-year average methodology has Tasmania leading other States on four economic indicators – retail spending, dwelling starts, equipment investment and population growth – the annual performance data for the Tasmanian economy tells a different story.
“Over the last year Tasmania’s performance was worse than the Australia- wide average on construction, employment, dwelling starts, housing finance and population growth,” Mr O’Byrne said.
“This means that Tasmania was the second worst performing economy – along with NSW – over the last year with only Victoria doing worse.
“Of particular concern is the big nine per cent fall in construction work – by far the largest drop across Australia. This confirms the continuing inability of the Gutwein Government to deliver on its big promises to get infrastructure dollars out the door.
“The CommSec Report also highlights that Tasmania was the only state to see a fall in real wages over the last year and this data points to the real possibility that Tasmanian retail conditions could deteriorate when JobKeeper subsidies end in March.
‘And these worrying annual trends come at a time when Tasmania continues to have the highest level of youth unemployment with one in five younger people out of work and the second highest overall unemployment rate in the country.
“Rather than basking in the fading sunlight of 10-year averages, the Premier should be focussed on the current economic clouds forecast in the CommSec annual data.
“Only Labor has a fully costed plan to create 35,000 jobs and to provide ongoing support to Tasmanian businesses and workers in stark contrast to the government’s complacent, one-dimensional policy of failing to deliver on its infrastructure promises.”
Source: Tasmanian Times https://www.tasmaniantimes.com/2021/01/state-of-the-states-report-january-2021/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=state-of-the-states-report-january-2021