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Markets Live: Shares limp to year's high

Posted on July 21 2014

2:06pm:Australia has a three-tier economy with Western Australia, the Northern Territory and New South Wales outperforming the rest of the country, according to the quarterly Commsec State of the States report.

The report was released amid warnings from the Melbourne Economic Forum on Monday that Australia faced declining living standards unless it radically boosted its productivity.

In the Commsec report, the states were assessed using a number of key indicators including retail spending, equipment investment, employment, construction work, population growth, housing finance, dwelling starts, wages, inflation and home prices.

South Australia and Tasmania are the national underperformers, with the other states and the ACT in the middle.

Among the top tier, Western Australia ‘‘remains the best-performing economy in the nation, holding its position due to strength in home purchase and construction,’’ according to Commsec.

The state is ranked first for retail trade and housing finance, second for economic growth and construction work, and third for business investment, population growth and dwelling starts.

The Northern Territory is the second strongest economy, leading the way on economic growth, business investment, employment and construction work.

New South Wales remains the third strongest economy, underpinned by solid population growth and home building.

Among the middle tier economies, ‘‘there is little to separate Queensland, Victoria and the ACT’’, according to Commsec.

Read more.

WA remains the country's top performing economy.

WA remains the country's top performing economy.

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