Slow-and-steady South Australia won the ANZ Stateometer ‘race’ in the March quarter, the only Australian state to record an above-trend growth rate amid rising momentum from the last quarter of 2018.
SA may not have enjoyed the mining spoils or strong house price upswing seen in other states in recent times - but neither has it suffered the hangover.
Tasmania, similarly unaffected by mining swings but subject to a substantial late housing upswing, also continued to enjoy the spoils. Overall though the Apple Isle lost momentum after a strong 2018 and slipped below trend.
Ongoing adjustments in the housing cycle continued to weigh on the bigger states and triggered policy action by the authorities. Fiscal policy has eased relative to where it was in the March quarter, APRA has loosened borrowing constraints and the Reserve Bank of Australia has signalled a rate cut in June (with another cut likely later in the year).