Which states are now Australia’s economic top dogs?

The changing of Australia’s economic guard continues – with the Northern Territory moving into the joint number one state position with New South Wales.

According to CommSec’s latest State of the States report, both the Northern Territory and New South Wales continue to display strong growth across the board.

Former long-time top dog Western Australia has slipped back to third place.

But the report states that a changing of the economic guard is inevitable as economic growth drivers strengthen or fade.

The end of the mining construction boom should lead to more balanced growth for Western Australia, it says.

New South Wales has held onto its number one position for the second consecutive quarter.

This is due to strong population growth and a related improvement in home construction.

Solid home construction and infrastructure spending should continue to support the state’s economy over 2015.

The Northern Territory has moved into the number one spot with New South Wales – thanks to topping the rankings in five of the eight economic indicators.

However, it lags on population growth which affects home building activity.

Attracting labour to the “top end” remains an ongoing constraint on growth, the report says.

Meanwhile, Victoria and Queensland remain close together in terms of performance, coming in in fourth and fifth place respectively.

According to the report, Victoria’s economy lacks in the momentum necessary to drive it further up the rankings while Queensland’s soft job market and weaker population growth are holding it back.

Bringing up the rear is the grouping of the ACT (sixth), South Australia (seventh) and Tasmania (eighth).

All three states continue to struggle along with various issues, but the report notes that there are some brighter signs in Tasmania.

The trend jobless rate is at 28-month lows, population growth has lifted and overall construction is growing solidly, it says.

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