Report shows NSW economy resilient: Baird

A prediction the NSW economy will take centrestage as the mining boom slows shows the state’s resilience against the “coconuts” being thrown by Canberra, Treasurer Mike Baird says.


A report by one of Australia’s big four banks, ANZ, forecasts NSW will increasingly anchor the country as the national economy begins to lean on non-mining sectors.

“We’re confident as seen by the ANZ report (that) as the mining boom comes off, NSW starts to play a leading role again in driving the national economy,” Mr Baird told reporters in Sydney.

He said this was despite Prime Minister Kevin Rudd “ripping confidence” out of industry and undermining all fiscal efforts in NSW.

“It’s almost like Kevin Rudd is a pale imitation of Tarzan throwing coconuts at industries from one side of the country to the other,” he said.

However, Mr Baird cautioned that despite the positive outlook, financial conditions in the state remained fragile.

In NSW, the jobless rate rose to 5.6 per cent in July, up from 5.4 per cent in June, according to seasonally adjusted figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday.

The national unemployment figure remained steady in July at 5.7 per cent.

Mr Baird said the NSW figures showed “some softness” but positive long-term trends.

“Despite the challenges the NSW economy remains resilient,” he said.

“What we’ve seen with the unemployment figures today is we remain below the national average. That’s a good thing, but clearly there is weakness.”

ANZ’s report predicts that despite NSW growing more slowly than other states over the past 10 years there are now signs it is outperforming the rest of Australia.

In Victoria and mining states like Western Australia and Queensland, growth was likely be stunted by slower housing construction, the report said.

The mining industry only contributes around three per cent to the NSW economy.

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