AAP FactCheck

Restoring confidence in public statements by independently testing and verifying the facts

Is NSW the strongest economy in Australia and was it ranked last under Labor in 2011?

By Louise Evans, James Lane & Tiffanie Turnbull

The Statement

“Right now, the NSW economy is the strongest in the nation - a stark contrast to when Labor left office and NSW ranked last.”

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet. March 20, 2019.

The Analysis

Liberal Treasurer Dominic Perrottet claims Labor’s economic management will send NSW to the “bottom of the heap” again if the ALP wins the March 23 election. [1]

AAP FactCheck examined Mr Perrottet’s claim that NSW’s economy is the strongest in the country and that the Labor government - last in power in March 2011 - left NSW in last place.

Mr Perrottet’s office told AAP FactCheck the minister’s claims were based on historical and current quarterly State of the States reports by Commsec, Australia's largest online stockbroking firm operated by the Commonwealth Bank.

The reports rank each state on eight “key indicators” of economic growth; retail spending; equipment investment; unemployment; construction work done; population growth; housing finance and dwelling commencements. [2]

According to the most recent State of the States report, released in January 2019, NSW is the equal strongest economy in the nation, sharing the top spot with Victoria. [2]

AAP FactCheck found Mr Perrottet’s claim was half true as NSW shares the nation’s top economic performance position with Victoria, according to CommSec’s January 2019 State of the States report.

AAP FactCheck could not verify the Treasurer’s claim that NSW was last under Labor in 2011 because, according to CommSec, an economic performance ranking was not used in 2011, unlike current reports.

In the January 2011 State of the States CommSec report, the last before Labor lost the March 26 election, NSW appears to be ranked last with the report stating “NSW economy is not far away from the pack”. [3]

But in the April 2011 report, just after Labor was voted out, CommSec did not name the worst state economy, but listed NSW, Queensland and Tasmania as the weakest performers. [4]

The treasurer’s claim that NSW was ranked last under Labor in 2011 is impossible to determine as an exact ranking was not given in the January 2011 and April 2011 CommSec reports. NSW was grouped as one of the last but not the last.

The Verdict

  • Somewhat True - Mostly accurate, but there is more than one error or problem.

The References

1: ‘This boom is no accident: What the Liberals have done for the NSW economy’. By Dominic Perrottet. The Sydney Morning Herald. March 20, 2019: https://www.smh.com.au/nsw-election-2019/this-boom-is-no-accident-what-the-liberals-have-done-for-the-nsw-economy-20190312-p513i5.html

2: ‘State of the States, January 2019 economic performance report’. Commsec. January 2019: https://www.commsec.com.au/stateofstates#

3: ‘State of the States, January 2011 economic performance report’. Commsec. January 17 2011: https://web.archive.org/web/20110124222219/http://images.comsec.com.au:80/newsresearch/articles/State%20of%20the%20states%20Jan%202011.pdf

4: ‘State of the States, April 2011 economic performance report’. Commsec. April 18, 2011: http://www.parliament.wa.gov.au/intranet/libpages.nsf/WebFiles/state+of+the+states+2011+apr+18/$FILE/state+of+the+states+2011+apr+18.pdf

Revision History

  • First published March 21, 2019 18:17 AEDT