State economy is on the up

LATEST economic reports show Tasmania's economy is catching up after a ``rotten run'' and beginning to come out of a dark place, with improvements across the board.

The July CommSec State of the States Report and Deloitte Access Economics June Quarter Business Outlook both show encouraging signs for the state, with gold stars for retail trade growth, population growth and improvements in jobless rates.

The reports look at a range of economic indicators, such as population growth, housing finance, construction work and retail spending.

The Deloitte report said construction in Tasmania was growing, and gains in retail were ``shooting the lights out'' but added ``albeit after a shockingly poor performance over a run of years''. 

The report said in a ``relatively rare event'' jobs growth in Tasmania was above the national average and population growth had hit a two-year high.

``Although things are looking better, at least in part that is just a catch up after a rotten run,'' the report said.

Treasurer Peter Gutwein welcomed the reports but said there was still work to do.

``The Liberal government is backing our competitive strengths, working hard to fix the budget mess and help business to create jobs in Tasmania,'' Mr Gutwein said.

``As both reports note, this encouraging growth over the past quarter is helping to narrow the gap to the rest of Australia after Labor and the Greens left us with the worst-performing economy in the country,'' he said.

CommSec placed Tasmania seventh or eighth on all economic indicators but said it had the strongest annual growth rate on retail spending.

``There are some encouraging signs in Tasmania including economy-leading retail trade growth and trend improvement in the jobless rate,'' the report said.

A Labor spokesman said many of the trends started under the former Labor government.

``The Liberals made an art of ignoring positive economic news and trampling confidence to suit their political ends,'' the spokesman said.

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