A series of independent economic reports released this week show South Australia’s economy is performing relatively well compared with other states from the COVID-19 low of April, with positive jobs growth and strong housing indicators, including rising house prices and stable rents.
In fact, Adelaide was one of only three cities where house prices rose between March and July (up 0.6 per cent), building approvals defied double-digit annual declines seen in other major capitals, while consumption returned to an above trend rate of growth by the end of the June quarter (ANZ Stateometer).
While ANZ noted the state’s housing market has ‘hardly been impacted by the pandemic’, Westpac’s Housing Pulse has described SA as the ‘surprise outperformer’ of the nation.
“The SA housing market is currently the surprise outperformer of the major states, shrugging off a substantive COVID-19 shock in the second quarter and holding the line on prices which so far have not seen a significant fall,” said Westpac’s Housing Pulse August 2020 report.
“Looking ahead, the state is one of the ‘early reopeners’…”
While ANZ research report (Stimulus moderates housing weakness, for now) has revealed that SA is the only state in the country with positive expectations for housing prices for the year ahead.
Treasurer Rob Lucas said these results followed single touch payroll data (ABS) this week, which showed South Australia had the second strongest growth in employment since the low point of COVID in mid-April.
“We are nation leading in terms of our jobs rebound from COVID-19, with employment growth of 5.5 per cent since mid-April – outperforming every other state, except Western Australia,” said Mr Lucas.
“Youth employment was a stand-out in the past fortnight, up 2.9% – more than twice the national growth rate – while jobs among 20 to 29 year-olds is also up.
“While we know there’s always more work to be done, it’s pleasing that several leading indicators show South Australia is performing relatively well and showing remarkable resilience throughout the greatest economic challenge of our time.
“Our $2 billion in economic stimulus measures – including payroll and land tax relief and $10,000 emergency cash grants for small businesses – will also go a long way in supporting local jobs and businesses keep the lights on and the doors open.”
The ANZ Stateometer found economic activity in all states fell into the bottom left quadrant for the June quarter due to COVID-19, meaning all decelerated and grew at a below-trend rate.