TASMANIA is still the weakest state economy in Australia, but it is starting to grow - slowly.
Two economic reports to be released today found Tasmania lagged behind the nation in almost every economic indicator.
The Deloitte Access Economics Report and the Commsec Economics Insight report found that high unemployment, low building approvals and low population growth continue to plague the state, while small increases in retail spending and housing approvals still see Tasmania at the bottom of the list.
However, the Deloitte report says that things will start to pick up in Tasmania from 2018 as the growing Asian middle-class causes a greater demand for Tasmanian produce, tourism and university places.
Deloitte spokesman Chris Richardson said the fact that Tasmania was skipped over in the mining boom will mean it is better placed to recover as the boom comes to an end.
Mr Richardson said the state would also benefit from the falling Australian dollar, which he predicted would drop to US80 by 2017.
But he said the recovery would be slow: the report predicts Gross State Product will grow just 2.4 per cent in the next five years and job rates will remain steady.
Opposition treasury spokesman Peter Gutwein said the reports ``confirm that after three and a half years of Labor and the Greens, Tasmania is an economic disgrace.''
``The only way to get the state back into the fast lane is to vote Liberal,'' Mr Gutwein said.
Mr Richardson disagreed, saying Tasmania's economic woes and potential successes had little to do with government policy.
``Politicians are never as important for the economy as they tend to paint themselves,'' he said.
Finance Minister Scott Bacon said the reports showed better times ahead for the state.