Tasmania led a struggling nation for economic growth in the September quarter, but state housing approvals continued to nosedive.
Important economic growth measure state final demand increased by 4.2 per cent in Tasmania during the quarter in seasonally adjusted terms, the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimated.
That was miles ahead of every other state or territory except the Northern Territory (4 per cent).
Big contractions in lockdown-hit New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT drove down national gross domestic product by 1.9 per cent.
The ABS said Tasmanian household consumption spending increased by 0.9 per cent during the quarter, "led by purchases of clothing and footwear and other goods and services, reflecting the state's strong consumer confidence".
Government consumption spending shot up by 6.2 per cent, which the ABS said was driven by extra spending on the coronavirus vaccine roll-out.
Business also contributed, with a 44.4 per cent increase in spending on machinery and equipment from extra spending on trucks, car and other items.
There were increases of 6.1 per cent in spending on new dwellings and 6.5 per cent in spending on non-dwelling construction.
"This is great news for local businesses and our economy and reflects the confidence that businesses and locals have to spend and invest in our state for the future," Premier Peter Gutwein said.
Meanwhile, other ABS figures estimated the number of new dwellings approved in Tasmania fell by 1.8 per cent to 213 in October, to be 27.6 per cent below the figure for October 2020.
The drop was despite the state being in the midst of a building boom.
State Housing Minister Michael Ferguson said Tasmania was coming through the biggest building stimulus program in more than 40 years.
"The reasons we are seeing an apparent reduction of approvals numbers are twofold," he said.
"First, the industry is so busy building that it is difficult to take on new jobs and second, the approvals previously were very high compared to trend as people rushed to get approvals in order to achieve grants.
"HomeBuilder and other government stimulus programs have resulted in dwelling approvals lifting to around 60 per cent above historical levels.
"The latest building approvals reflect the return to normal volumes that was expected from these very high levels.
"It is important to note that the latest monthly approvals are in line with historical averages."
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