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  1. If you're moving to Australia and haven't decided where to want to live yet, it may be worthwhile keeping an eye on CommSec's 'State of the States' reports. The quarterly report attempts to find out how Australia’s states and territories are performing by analysing eight key indicators: economic growth retail spending equipment investment unemployment construction work done population growth housing finance dwelling commencements. Just as the Reserve Bank uses long-term averages to determine the level of “normal” interest rates; CommSec do the same with the economic indicators. For each state and territory, latest readings for the key indicators were compared with decade averages – that is, against the “normal” performance. The latest State of the States report also includes a section comparing annual growth rates for the eight key indicators across the states and territories as well as Australia as a whole. This enables another point of comparison – in terms of economic momentum. FIRST - Victoria SECOND - NSW THIRD - Australian Capital Territory FOURTH - Tasmania FIFTH - Queensland SIXTH - South Australia SEVENTH - Northern Territory EIGHTH - Western Australia Victoria is now at the top of the economic performance rankings (For the first time since Commsec introduced the 'State of the States' economic performance rankings). Victoria ranks first on economic growth, dwelling starts and construction work done. NSW is second on the overall economic performance rankings but still holds top spot for retail spending and the relative performance on unemployment. The ACT has held on to third spot on the rankings. The ACT is top-ranked on relative housing finance and equipment spending and second-ranked on population growth and unemployment. Tasmania has held on to fourth position on the economic performance rankings and it can be broadly grouped with the ACT. Tasmania is ranked first on the relative position on population growth, a position that is driving strength in home building. Queensland is now in fifth position on the performance rankings ahead of South Australia but there is little to separate the two economies. Queensland ranks fourth on two indicators and fifth on four indicators South Australiais now in sixth position. But unemployment is the lowest in 5½ years in trend terms. The Northern Territory retains its seventh position on the economic performance rankings and can be broadly grouped with Western Australia. Both are facing challenges with the transition of resource projects moving from the production to the export phase. The Northern Territory is third-ranked on construction work done and economic growth. But it lags all other states and territories on four of the indicators. The good news is that employment is growing again in annual terms. Western Australia is seventh on three indicators and lags other economies on three indicators. But equipment spending is now the highest in just over three years.
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