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ANZ: All signs point to continued growth in regional economies

ANZ’s latest InFocus report takes a detailed look into trends impacting Australia’s regional economies and found that while the pandemic heightened interest and movement to the regions, stronger employment and wage growth had pre-dated the pandemic.

The report outlines that at the same time as major cities went into extended lockdowns, regional Australia was both comparatively free of COVID restrictions and going through boom times in the agriculture sector.


Mark Bennett, Head of Agribusiness at ANZ said: “While COVID presented many difficulties for regional economies including a lack of available labour, transport delays and localised lockdowns, the overwhelming story has been one of renewed interest and activity across regional Australia.


“The COVID period saw employment, house prices and population growth in the regions all outstrip major cities’, as well as the key regional industries of agriculture and forestry and fisheries contributing almost 1 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in the two years from 2020,” Mr Bennett said.


A caveat to regional population growth is that it has been heavily focussed on major regional cities and in densely populated states such as Victoria and Tasmania – suggesting those moving to the regions are still looking for a certain level of service provision and transport links to major urban centres.


While the uptake in population and interest in the regions has been attributed as a symptom of the pandemic, many of the factors behind the strong regional performance were present prior to COVID – including strong wage growth, employment and solid population growth.


“All of this paints a great picture for the sustainability and future growth of our regional cities and surrounding areas”. The next question becomes whether access to services, infrastructure and expertise in the regions will keep up with the expectations and requirements of new residents and growing industries,” Mr Bennett said.


Download the full report

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