I’m unclear why today’s ABS March quarter National Accounts have generated such surprise among commentators, as the data were wholly consistent with the two-speed economy we know we have. To me, the only new information was that the mining boom in WA is an even bigger deal for the national economy than previously imagined. Consider the March quarter growth in State Final Demand using the ABS’s trend estimates (which smooth out irregular quarter-to-quarter volatility):
WA’s performance is outstanding while Queensland’s is mediocre. I expect this is partly because the slump in tourism is offsetting the positive stimulus to the Queensland economy from the resources boom.
Let’s not even talk about the volatile seasonally adjusted figures for State Final Demand, which have Queensland contracting 0.8% in the March quarter.