The ACT's nation-leading economic growth rate will start to slow in 2019 amid a decline in jobs growth and uncertainty over the delivery of housing projects, a new report has predicted.
The territory posted the fastest rate of growth in the nation in 2017-18, as a population surge, major housing and infrastructure spending and a booming higher education sector spurred an upswing in the local economy.
But Deloitte Access Economics' latest business outlook, released on Tuesday, has predicted some of the "glitter" of the territory's run of economic growth would start to fade in the coming years.
While maintaining an overall positive outlook for the local economy, the economics firm has forecast the ACT's growth rate would slow from 4 per cent in 2017-18 to 2.7 per cent in 2018-19, before rising to 3.2 per cent in 2019-2020.
The economy is set to take a hit from a decline in jobs growth, which will be led by a slump in construction-sector employment.
"This may be a sign of things to come, as some large construction projects finish - including phase one of the Canberra light rail project - and as the positive impact of a peak in housing construction fades, especially among apartments," the report stated.
There are more than 55,000 new dwellings in the planning or construction pipeline in the ACT, but the report warned there was "increasing uncertainty" as to how many of these projects would be delivered.
However, it noted that continued strong population growth, increasing rental prices and falling vacancy rates suggested there was sufficient underlying demand for new housing in the ACT.
Deloitte's report is the latest sign of a slowing in the ACT economy, particularly in the housing and construction sectors.
Canberra house prices have stalled after six years of growth, according to the latest Domain figures, which also showed unit prices in the ACT experienced their steepest decline in almost 20 years in the December quarter.
The Master Builders Association of the ACT last week published a new industry forecast, which projected the value of new unit construction would drop from $1.12 billion in 2017-18 to $913 million in 2020-2021.
The total construction value of apartments in the ACT was $469 million in 2009-10, before a period of sustained growth pushed it past the $1 billion mark in 2016-17.
The ACT has so far avoided the major housing slump hitting Sydney and Melbourne, where house prices fell by 10 per cent and 9.1 per cent respectively in 2018.
Deloitte said the "housing correction" was among a range of challenges confronting the Australian economy, which also included a mini credit crunch and the impact of the drought.
While those factors would slow the economy, a falling national unemployment rate, the prospect of more businesses expanding and potential wage growth meant there was "good news on the horizon" for Australians.
In the ACT, a gradual slowing of the local economy would come on the back of a "stellar period" of growth, according to Deloitte.
The economy's successes have been aided by low interest rates, increased federal government spending - particularly on the administration of the National Disability Insurance Scheme - and ACT government investment in health and infrastructure projects.
Higher education, the territory's largest export industry, has also experienced significant gains, with the falling Australian dollar helping to make Canberra's universities and vocational education providers more competitive with overseas institutions.
Increased international student enrolments have contributed to an overall increase in retail spending and housing demand, according to Deloitte.
The ACT's strong recent economic performance is evidenced by CommSec's latest quarterly State of the States report, which again ranked the territory as the nation's third best-performing economy behind Victoria and NSW.
The CommSec report, also published on Tuesday, found the ACT had the nation's highest growth rate for home building, with construction of new dwellings up 88 per cent on its average for the past decade. The territory ranked sixth in this measure in the previous CommSec report.
Housing finance commitments rose by 32 per cent, construction work increased by 18.1 per cent and the population grew by 12.6 per cent compared to the 10-year average, according to the report.