CommSec’s weird assessment of Victoria’s economic growth as leading the nation in State of the States

This afternoon, Australian Institute for Progress Executive Director Graham Young alerted me to his conversation with 612 ABC Brisbane host Steve Austin and McKell Institute Executive Chair Rachel Nolan yesterday on Steve’s Drive program (from around 2:26:30) regarding the CommSec State of the States report, which continues to present weird results based on an odd methodology that I first questioned in a July 2010 post. Chatting with Steve and Graham, Rachel accurately quoted the CommSec report (on p. 3) as ranking Victoria at the top in terms of economic growth – yes, that’s silly, as I’ll go over in a moment. There is no way Victoria should be ranked as number one on economic growth given its Stage Four restrictions meant that it suffered the largest job losses in Australia (check out the Qld Treasury Labour Force briefing and the chart below) and it has had the most businesses on JobKeeper.

Furthermore, the ABS reported that State Final Demand fell 1.0% in Victoria in September quarter while it recovered by 6.8% in both Queensland and NSW in that quarter, the latest for which National Accounts data are available.

The latest CommSec State of the States report reaches its odd conclusion that “Victoria still leads on relative economic growth” (p. 3) by comparing the states’ levels of economic activity in the twelve months to 30 September 2020 with their average levels of yearly economic activity over the previous decade. Victoria is heavily advantaged in this calculation because of its relatively strong performance in the years leading up to the COVID recession. The calculation tells us nothing about Victoria’s economic performance during the pandemic.

I’ll post some more charts and analysis on this when I get the time, but it’s very clear CommSec needs to change the methodology of its State of the States report because it is leading to extremely odd conclusions.

Please feel free to comment below. Alternatively, you can email comments, questions, suggestions, or hot tips to

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2 Responses to CommSec’s weird assessment of Victoria’s economic growth as leading the nation in State of the States

  1. grahamy01 says:

    Thanks Gene, that makes sense.

  2. robsonap0 says:

    More spews for more views.

    Sounds crass, but it’s true in today’s media landscape.

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