Up and down
The unemployment rate in NSW fell to 6.0 per cent in January, below the national average of 6.4 per cent, helping drive growth in the state to above-trend acceleration, as found by ANZ’s Stateometer index. However, state border changes from late December to early 2021 may weigh on NSW’s recovery, particularly for tourism-exposed businesses.
The state’s domestic tourism spend fell less than the national average between January and November 2020, as regional demand filled at least some of the gap left by international and interstate tourists in Sydney.
Victoria’s economy was hit hard by the state’s second wave of COVID-19, which closed much of the economy until November, but the recovery has since been rapid. Employment and household spending both bounced, although longer-term indicators for growth, like housing construction and capital expenditure, are yet to recover.
In Queensland, the labour market improved more than any other state in the final quarter, but other indicators were less impressive.
Interestingly, the negligible impact of the pandemic on the NT compared with the east coast states led to Darwin recording the strongest housing price performance across capitals and strong retail sales growth, at 4.5 per cent quarter-on-quarter compared to a national average of 2.5 per cent.