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Encouraging signs for South Australian economy

By Brett Pilgrim

When you're in the market to expand your portfolio of rentals in Adelaide, it's worth taking a look at the environment you're buying into. South Australia's economy has often been downplayed, but there is always room for improvement – and that's just what CommSec's latest State of the States report has revealed.

The report has examined an array of economic indicators to figure out how each estate and territory is performing. The key points included economic growth, construction work, retail trade and unemployment, among a host of other things. The study then compared the results from the March quarter to the average level recorded over the past ten years, which can give a longer term outlook on how each economy is tracking along. 

However, it can sometimes be a bit misleading to compare the same results as each state or territory is working off a different base. While New South Wales took out the top spot, followed by the Northern Territory and Western Australia, South Australia has showed real potential in a number of these categories. It sits in seventh position in the overall economic rankings, but it has improved in retail trade, equipment investment and construction work. It was also ranked third for population growth in the March quarter.

There was a bit of concern surrounding dwelling starts and housing finance, which the Housing Industry Association has urged the state government to take on board. These indicators were down 1.3 per cent and 13.7 per cent on the decade average, but the HIA said the South Australian government can grasp the opportunity for growth in the property market with both hands. 

"It's time the South Australian Government realised the economic opportunities that other states are gaining, and acknowledged the important role that residential building activity could be playing in kick starting the recovery of our economy," said HIA's executive director Robert Harding in a 1 April release.

If the state can bring a boost to the housing sector, there's no telling how high the economy could climb in the future – and how property in Adelaide could benefit. 

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