A report that ranks Queensland’s economy a paltry sixth place when compared to other Australian states is an anomaly that doesn’t match up with other data, Treasurer Curtis Pitt says.
The CommSec State of the States report, released on Wednesday, shows Queensland has slipped one place to sixth, with its economy performing better than only those of South Australia and Tasmania.
CommSec chief economist Craig James says the drop was on the back of ACT’s ascendancy.
Construction work in the state was ranked last, while the main bright spots were fourth-placed rankings for retail spending and dwelling starts.
“Queensland remains entrenched in the third tier of economies, alongside South Australia and Tasmania,” Mr James said.
“While it’s not included in the top three states for any of the performance indicators, encouragingly unemployment has fallen to two-year lows in trend terms and dwelling starts have lifted to seven-and-a-half year highs.”
Mr Pitt was quick to latch on to the good unemployment rate and boost in home construction, despite insisting the report was “inconsistent with the majority of other analysis we’re seeing”.
“Our economic plan is working and the figures from Westpac, the National (Australia) Bank, Deloitte, Sensis, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Treasury’s MYFER (mid-year fiscal and economic review) speak for themselves,” he said.
Mr Pitt said NAB’s monthly business survey earlier this week showed Queensland had remained the nation’s leader in terms of business confidence.
Unsurprisingly, Shadow Treasurer John-Paul Langbroek wasn’t as optimistic about the figures, blaming the drop on the government’s “do-nothing” attitude.
“Labor has been in office for almost 12 months now and we still haven’t heard any plans for boosting economic growth or investing in vital infrastructure,” he said.
“It’s not good enough for the premier (Annastacia Palaszczuk) and the treasurer to put everything off to a review to avoid making a decision.”
Ms Palaszczuk was asked about the report, but instead focused on the state’s 5.9 per cent unemployment rate – a two-year low.
“I know how important jobs are for Queensland and I will work every day to drive this economy and to drive this state,” she said.