2018 GDP report: Gap in economic growth between cities and regions starting to close

The gap in economic growth between Australia's cities and regions is starting to close according to a new report by SGS Economics and Planning (SGS): Economic Performance of Australia’s Cities and Regions.

Terry Rawnsley, SGS National Leader of Economic & Social Analysis, said the persistent disparity in economic growth between Australia's cities and regions was concerning:

“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,” said Mr Rawnsley.


For the past decade, SGS has published Economic Performance of Australia’s Cities and Regions to fill a void in economic policy research. The report shows estimates of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for each major city and region in Australia. For the first time, the report includes small area gross domestic product estimates and an interactive map and dashboard. Click the image to download the report.


Explore the research results at state, city and regional level on this interactive map:


Explore the research results over the past seven years on this interactive dashboard:


New South Wales

  • In 2017-18 Sydney’s GDP was $443.0 billion and represented 24.4 per cent of national GDP.
  • Sydney represents 74.3 per cent of New South Wales’s GDP.
  • Sydney’s GDP growth slowed in 2017-18 from 3.5 per cent in 2016-17 to 3.1 per cent.
  • Sydney contributed 26.3 per cent of GDP growth, down from 36.1 per cent in 2016-17.
  • In terms of contribution to growth, the three largest Statistical Areas 3 (SA3) were Sydney Inner City (29.3 per cent), Ryde – Hunters Hill (4.9 per cent) and North Sydney – Mosman (4.7 per cent).
  • Sydney’s labour productivity grew faster (0.3 per cent) than the national average (0.2 per cent) and is now at a record high of $95.2 per hour worked.
  • At $84,700, Sydney’s GDP per capita is $11,400 higher than the national average – the highest margin since 2004-05 and $30,200 higher than Regional NSW.
  • GDP growth in Regional New South Wales was 1.1 per cent, which was slower growth than the last two years.
  • The regional cities of Newcastle (2.7 per cent) and Wollongong (2.2 per cent) and Orange (1.9 per cent) grew faster than the overall regional growth rate.


  • In 2017-18 Melbourne’s GDP was $351.0 billion and represented 19.3 per cent of national GDP.
  • Melbourne represents 82.7 percent of Victoria’s GDP, the highest share on record.
  • Melbourne contributed 28.9 per cent of national GDP growth.
  • In 2017-18, Melbourne GDP growth was 4.3 per cent. Melbourne has outperformed the Australian economy over the past five years, with average annual growth of 3.8 per cent.
  • Manufacturing share of Melbourne’s economy is at a record low of 6.4 per cent and after years of being the largest industry, Manufacturing is now Melbourne’s sixth largest industry.
  • Melbourne’s labour productivity increased by 1.8 per cent during 2017-18 to reach $83.0.
  • After a period of weakness between 2008-09 and 2013-14, Melbourne GDP per capita has expanded strongly in the past three years.
  • In 2017-18, Melbourne’s GDP per capita increased by 1.4 per cent.
  • In 2017-18 Melbourne GDP per capital was $70,500, $21,700 higher than Regional Victoria ($48,800).
  • The three SA3 which made the largest contribution to Melbourne’ GDP growth were Melbourne City (29.3 per cent), neighbouring Port Phillip (5.1 per cent) and Monash (4.8 per cent) in the south east of the city.
  • After extraordinarily high growth (driven by agriculture) in 2016-17 of 3.9 per cent, 2017-18 saw a small decline of -0.1 per cent in Regional Victoria. Many agricultural areas saw declines of between 3 and 9 per cent in GDP.
  • Geelong (1.1 per cent), (Ballarat 0.9 per cent) and Bendigo (0.2 per cent) all continued to grow during 2017-18.
  • The closure of the Hazelwood Power Station contributed to a 6.7 per cent decline in GDP in the Latrobe Valley.


  • In 2017-18 Brisbane’s GDP was $170.5 billion and represented 9.4 per cent of national GDP.
  • Brisbane represents 49.3 percent of Queensland’s GDP, this is the third lowest share on record.
  • Brisbane contributed 11.3 per cent of GDP growth.
  • In 2017-18 Brisbane GDP growth was 3.4 per cent, the highest since 2011-12.
  • In terms of contribution to growth, the three largest SA3 were Brisbane Inner (28.4 per cent), Brisbane Inner – North (8.0 per cent) and Nundah, a large SA including Brisbane Airport, (4.8 per cent).
  • 2017-18 saw Brisbane’s GDP per capita grow by 0.7 per cent.
  • Regional Queensland saw GDP growth of 3.3 per cent in 2017-18. This was the highest growth since 2013-14. A wide range of industries contributed to this growth. It would appear that the impact of the mining bust on Regional Queensland has ended.
  • The mining region of the Bowen Basin – North contributed 0.9 per cent to national GDP growth in 2017-18.
  • Townsville, Cairns, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast, all had growth rates during 2017-18 significantly higher than the average of the past five years.

South Australia

  • In 2017-18, the GDP of Adelaide grew by 3.2 per cent, the highest level since 2006-07.
  • Adelaide represents 77.0 percent of South Australia’s GDP, the highest share since 2009-10.
  • Health Care (0.8 percentage), Construction (0.5 percentage), Professional Services (0.5 percentage) made the largest contribution to growth in 2017-18. Public Administration subtracted 0.2 percentage from GDP growth.
  • Manufacturing has significantly decreased its share of Adelaide’s GDP over the past two decades, however, its share of GDP has stabilised at around 6.0 per cent over the past three years.
  • In terms of contribution to growth, the three largest SA3 were Adelaide City (20.1 per cent), West Torrens (7.3 per cent) and Onkaparinga (6.8 per cent).
  • After very high growth in Regional South Australia due to high agricultural production in 2016-17, 2017-18 saw a decline of 2.5 in GDP.
  • The Mid North SA3, home to the Hornsdale Power Reserve (which includes the Tesla Battery) saw GDP growth of 5.4 per cent due to increased power generation activity.


  • In 2017-18 Perth’s GDP was $150.3 billion and represented 8.3 per cent of national GDP.
  • Perth represents 58.4 percent of Western Australia’s GDP.
  • In 2017-18 Perth’s GDP grew by 2.7 per cent, the highest growth since 2012-13. This followed Perth being in a recession during 2016-17 with a decline of 3.0 per cent in GDP.
  • Health Care (0.8 percentage points), Financial Services (0.4 percentage points), Construction, Manufacturing and Mining (all 0.3 percentage points) made the largest contribution to Perth’s GDP growth.
  • In terms of contribution to growth, the three largest SA3 were Perth City (34.2 per cent), Stirling (7.5 per cent) and Cottesloe – Claremont (6.1 per cent).
  • Regional Western Australia’s GDP grew by 0.8 per cent, driven by mining production.
  • Canberra
  • In 2017-18 Canberra’s GDP was $39.4 billion and represented 2.2 per cent of national GDP.
  • Over the past three years economic activity has surged. In 2017-18 Canberra’s GDP growth was 4.0 per cent.
  • In 2017-18, Public Administration, Canberra’s largest industry, made no contribution to growth.
  • The highest contribution were Professional services and Health Care, both (0.9 percentage points. Administrative services, Construction and Media and Telcom also made a large positive contribution to GDP growth.
  • Public Administration & Safety makes up nearly a quarter of the Canberra’s economy compared with the national average of around 6 per cent.


  • In 2017-18 Tasmania’s GDP was $30.3 billion and represented 1.7 per cent of national GDP.
  • Tasmania’s GDP growth was 3.3 per cent in 2017-18, This is the highest growth since 2007-08.
  • Health Care (0.7 percentage points), Manufacturing (0.4 percentage points), Mining, Construction and Professional Services (all 0.3 percentage points) were the biggest contributors to Tasmania’s GDP growth.
  • In terms of contribution to Tasmanian’s GDP growth, the three largest SA3 were Hobart Inner (26.1 per cent), Launceston (17.1 per cent) and Hobart – North West (9.4 per cent).
  • Hobart SA4, grew at 3.2 per cent compared to a 5-year average growth rate of 2.1%.
  • Launceston SA3, grew at 3.2 per cent compared to a 5-year average growth rate of 2.4%.

For more information, contact SGS National Leader of Economic & Social Analysis Terry Rawnsley on telephone +61 3 8616 0331.