Deloitte report: federal election a boon for Canberra economy

A federal election, a low-valued Aussie dollar and strong population growth mean "all engines firing" for Canberra, according to the latest Deloitte Access Economics report.

The report painted a glowing picture of the capital but warned a slowing global and local economy could see the federal government cut down on spending headquartered in Canberra.

The Deloitte Access Economics report has painted a glowing picture of the capital.

The Deloitte Access Economics report has painted a glowing picture of the capital.

Overall, Australia's economy was taking a small hit as the global economy slowed but infrastructure spending on the east coast as well as public sector growth meant there were some winners.

"The current times are pretty happy ones for tax collections," the report said.

"If a China downturn led to falling commodity prices - then tax revenues would feel the brunt."

Deloitte also warned while the ACT's housing market continued to rise, deteriorating housing markets in Sydney and Melbourne could mean developers would think twice about adding additional stock to the market in Canberra. Thanks to the looming election in May, public spending in Canberra was up, the report said.

The rosy numbers assumed the Coalition would keep parliament. But if Labor, who is promising more public spending, won on May 18 then it would be even rosier.

A weak Aussie dollar made it cheaper for tourists and international students to come to Canberra.

There's a federal election on and money is being sprayed around.

Deloitte report

A strong student population growth, second only to Victoria's, meant a growth in local retail spending "in excess of the national average", the report said.

Canberra's unemployment rate sat at 3.6 per cent, the lowest in any region, and the strongest job market growth was in the federal public sector.

As the light rail construction reached completion, Canberra's engineering activity wound down, but the report said engineering construction only counted for 1 per cent of the economy.

However, stage two could spell trouble: the ACT government's proposed "dog leg" route through the Parliamentary Triangle could make approval difficult as the Commonwealth had only approved the State Circle route, bypassing the triangle.

"If the ACT government pushes ahead with [its] preferred option, it could take quite a while to get the project shovel-ready," the report said.