Resources sector carrying the WA economy to a record degree

Aaron Morey

CCIWA Chief Economist

Western Australia’s economy (including the export sector) grew 1.4 per cent in 2019-20 — a higher rate of growth than all other states and behind only the Northern Territory and ACT.

 

Today’s data also reveals a deepening imbalance in our economy. The strength of WA’s mining sector — something we should all celebrate and welcome — is again the sole reason our economy is not in decline. Mining contributed nine times more growth than the next nearest sector, growing 1.8 per cent compared to healthcare at 0.2 per cent.

The upshot of that is mining now makes up a record 43 per cent of WA’s economy.

Although the strength of the mining sector is to be celebrated and welcomed, no other state is so reliant on one sector. Indeed, non-mining investment has declined once again, falling 2.5 per cent in 2019-20. It means for 7 of the past 8 years, investment outside mining has gone backwards.

The state accounts are a year-on-year comparison, so today’s results include a substantial amount of pre-COVID data. They highlight the growing imperative to achieve more favourable business conditions for a broader range of industries, with more competitive tax rates to encourage businesses to invest in our economy and create new jobs on the other side of COVID-19.

CCIWA continues to strongly advance the reforms our economy needs to remedy these issues.

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