WA is starting to shed the strain of the mining investment downturn but new home building is still in the doldrums, according to the Housing Industry Association.
The association’s Western Australia State Outlook, Autumn 2017 said each quarter CommSec examined the relative economic performance of individual states by analysing eight key indicators including economic growth, retail spending, business investment, unemployment, construction work done, population growth, housing finance and dwelling starts.
The latest CommSec report ranked Western Australia as the last state in the country based on all the indicators together.
“Nevertheless, WA actually performed relatively well in retail trade,’’ the State Outlook said.
Similar to the CommSec analysis, the ANZ Stateometer produces a composite index that summarises a state’s overall economic performance across 37 economic indicators.
“For WA, the composite index was slightly higher in the March 2017 quarter compared with the previous quarter.
“While the index remains well below the long-run average for the state, the improvement over recent months suggests that economic conditions are no longer deteriorating, but have started stabilising.
“This is a big achievement for a strong mining state to shed the drag of the sharp mining investment deterioration.
“The improvement in the state’s labour market has been the prime driver of the turnaround in the composite index.’’
But new home building in WA continues to languish due to broader economic difficulties.
The Housing Outlook Report says nationally a 10.7 per cent reduction in new home starts is forecast for 2017-18 before new home starts reach a trough of 176,670 in 2018-19.