Peter Gutwein,Premier and Treasurer
The latest CommSec State of the States Report for January 2021 has found Tasmania now holds the mantle of the best performing economy in the country for the last four consecutive quarters.
Tasmania comes out on top in four of the Report’s economic indicators, including relative population growth, equipment investment, dwelling starts and retail trade.
CommSec found that equipment investment was up 7.7 per cent on the decade average, demonstrating the resilience and confidence of our business owners who are willing to invest in their future after the disruption of last year.
CommSec noted that “In the September quarter, only Tasmania had equipment spending above decade average levels…”
Tasmania also remained in top spot for dwelling starts which were 23.5 per cent above the decade average, with CommSec stating that “Home building has been strong in Tasmania because population growth is well above ‘normal’ and home prices are still relatively low compared with the mainland.”
We also lead the way in retail rankings, with CommSec noting that “Retail spending was 23 per cent above decade-average levels in the September quarter. Success in suppressing the COVID-19 virus boosted confidence, while government cash handouts and wage subsidies supported incomes.”
These gains do not happen by accident. They are proof that because we entered the pandemic from a position of strength, with one of the strongest economies in the nation and no net debt, we were able to use our balance sheet as an economic stabiliser and deliver the largest economic and social support package in the nation as a proportion of our economy.
When I released the 2021-21 State Budget I said it would be about jobs, confidence and the community and we are delivering on this plan.
The Budget’s $5 billion infrastructure program across the next four year will support around 25,000 jobs and will make it easier for Tasmanian businesses to employ through a $22 million investment in apprentices, trainees and youth employees.
The evidence that our economy is recovering continues to mount, with the CommSec Report coming on top of the recent ABS Labour Force data for December 2020 which confirms a significant number of jobs are coming back. Since May, more than three quarters of Tasmanians have returned to work.
We will continue to focus on growing our economy, creating jobs, and getting more Tasmanians back into work as we continue to rebuild a stronger Tasmania and this report is proof that we’re delivering on our plan and doing exactly that.