If Australian states were countries, here's how they would rank

What if, after Friday's celebrations, the Australian states shook hands and went their separate ways? How would the state economies fare on their own?

"We've had a good run with the whole Federation thing, but, after 117 years, let's do our own thing"??? or words to that effect.

State of origin footy and cricket would probably take on even more significance, but what about the economic side of things? How would that stack up?

If we simply pull Australia out of the latest International Monetary Fund national gross domestic product rankings and crudely drop in the eight Australian states and territories, we can see what we're dealing with.

Scroll to see where Australian state economies would rank if they were sovereign nations:

As you'd imagine, all Australian states and territories punch well above their weight when it comes to per capita economic output. In fact, Victoria claims 39th spot on the list despite having just 5.5 per cent of the population of the country one spot ahead.

NSW would have a greater GDP than Greece and New Zealand combined, Victoria would rank between the Philippines and Malaysia, Queensland would outrank Vietnam, Western Australia would sit just behind Iraq, and South Australia would be nipping at the heels of Ethiopia, in terms of economic output.

Australia's largest state economy, NSW, would slot in at 26th place if it were a country, squeezing out Thailand - not bad when you consider Thailand's 68.8 million population compared with just 7.5 million in NSW.

At home, NSW retains its crown while Tasmania climbs the rankings

On the domestic front, NSW has topped five out of the eight metrics used to calculate the Commonwealth Securities' quarterly State of the States report, keeping it firmly in the top spot.

Could there be a scenario where the powerhouse state could be knocked from its perch? Never say never, says CommSec chief economist Craig James.

"WA is an example of a state that held court for a long period of time but when the mining boom ends, it clearly has a knock-on effect through the economy," James told Domain.

"I suppose over the next 12 months we are going to see a softening of the housing market in NSW, so more and more apartments and houses will be completed and home prices will grow at a much slower pace than in the past ??? we've already got some declines in home prices coming through."

Tasmania stamped its authority on this quarter's result, climbing to fourth place from fifth thanks to improvement in its unemployment rate and firming business investment.

Second placed Victoria topped the states in terms of population growth and ranked second in five of the eight metrics.

Broadly speaking, Australia's state economies are performing well, according to James, with the east coast states adjusting to easing house price growth well.

"Some of [the states] have got a fair bit to go, in terms of improvement, but you'd have to say the economic environment is pretty reasonable, particularly when you consider the more recent developments in terms of home prices where they're coming down to more reasonable growth rates."

Open homes: Source: CommSec State of the States, January 2018

This story If Australian states were countries, here's how they would rank first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.