NSW economy improving: Treasurer
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SYDNEY, Feb 25 AAP
February 25 2013, 08:38AM
NSW Treasurer Mike Baird has given an upbeat assessment of the state's economic outlook, saying NSW can look forward to a brighter year after slow growth.
After a disappointing year of global growth in 2012, there are signs of optimism, he says in his latest economic update.
Mr Baird says there's good news on the jobs front and positive signs in housing and consumer spending, although the effects of recent interest rates cuts aren't yet fully apparent.
"NSW's economic performance is holding up well, particularly relative to the other states," Mr Baird said in the update released on Monday.
"Interest rate cuts over the past year should, amongst other policy actions, provide a boost for the interest rate sensitive sectors of the NSW economy such as housing and consumer spending.
"However the recent data have been mixed, indicating that rate cuts are taking longer than expected to gain traction."
But he said there are positive signs emerging in the labour market.
"The resilience of the NSW labour market is another clear positive, despite the general softening in employment nationally."
The state's unemployment rate of 5.1 per cent has now been below the national average for 12 months and is the second lowest of the states, behind WA.
Mr Baird says the NSW economy created 73,400 jobs in the past 22 months - three times the jobs growth in Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania combined.
"Overall, I am quietly optimistic that the emerging positive signs will continue to build momentum," he said.
"Many challenges still remain but the horizon seems a little brighter in 2013 than it did this time last year."