Economic performance of Australia’s cities and regions 2017-2018

Economic growth City Economy Cities and towns Australia

Economic Performance of Australia’s Cities and Regions provides improved insights into the relative economic performance of Australia’s major capital cities and key regions. It highlights the productivity challenges facing these cities and regions.

During the early 1980s, the economic structure of Australia was reasonably homogeneous. Manufacturing was the primary income generator across most parts of the country. Select regional areas specialised in industries such as agriculture, mining and manufacturing while knowledge-intensive services were the central core of Australian cities. At this time, statistics at a national level would have shown an adequate representation of the economic conditions across the whole of Australia.

However, the economic evolution of the past 30 years paints a far more complex picture.

The rise of knowledge-intensive services, differentials in government policy and investment, the resources boom, the declining competitiveness of manufacturing and other notable changes have created a patchwork economy. 

The difference in economic growth across Australia has been a point of concern for almost five years. However, the patchwork economy of strong inner cities in Melbourne and Sydney and weak regional areas looks to be over with growth rates across the country starting to converge.


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