The Northern Territory might have a tiny population but the powerhouse jurisdiction is second only to WA in the State of the States report.
The Northern Territory’s economy continues to flourish with the jurisdiction leading the country on four key indicators, a new CommSec report shows.
The July State of the States report finds that the NT is the second strongest economy behind Western Australia, and is the strongest of any Australian jurisdiction on economic growth, business investment, low unemployment and construction work.
But the jurisdiction’s weakness on housing finance prevented it from taking the overall top spot from WA, the report said.
The territory is “the place to be”, Treasurer Dave Tollner said in a statement on Monday, pointing to “phenomenal job opportunities and enormous economic potential” of the area.
Economic activity is almost 36 per cent above its decade-average level of output, while retail spending is 18.1 per cent above decade-average levels, second only to WA.
The NT and the ACT have the strongest job markets in the nation, the report found, with the NT’s unemployment rate the second lowest in the country at 3.9 per cent, which is almost 10 per cent lower than its decade average level of 4.3 per cent.
The NT is also leading the way on construction work, with projects in the March quarter up 17.5 per cent on a year ago, followed by Queensland (up 6.4 per cent) and Western Australia (up 1.4 per cent).
But at the other end of the scale, ACT construction work was 12.5 per cent down on a year ago.
However, annual population growth in the NT is near two-year lows at 1.69 per cent, down almost 7 per cent on the decade average.
Chief Minister Adam Giles has previously attributed this to the difficulty in attracting workers from southern capitals to the NT, and is hoping for improvement as plans for developing northern Australia progress.
That may be difficult while the NT remains the weakest economy for housing finance, with trend commitments 17.5 per cent lower than its decade average.