Monday, September 28, 2009

Regional Australia outperforms major cities in economic terms

Hat tip to North Coast Voices on this one.

The September 09 issue of the ANZ Bank's Regional and Rural Quarterly shows that regional Australia as a whole is presently out-performing the major cities in economic terms.

I think, I stand to be corrected, that this is often a feature of major downturns. Certainly I think that it was the case in 1991.

There are very particular reasons why this might be the case.

Most Australian booms are marked by major urban growth in areas such commercial building. Major business service activities are located in the metro centres. These feed on each other during booms, with a reverse effect during downturns. Outside hotspots with particular drivers such as mining, regional economic activity tends to be more stable.

I found the population numbers for North Western Australia interesting. This huge zone covers seventy per cent of the state including the Pilbara mining region. In 00-01the area had a population of just 188,000, so you can see how thinly spread the population is.

For the first half of the 2,000s population growth was very low in percentage terms, negative in one year, before accelerating rapidly over the last three years. The 07-08 population reached 201,700. Mean individual taxable incomes also accelerated sharply, rising from $A30,300 in 00-01 to $A36,900 in 06-07. 

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