Canberra households are among the nation's biggest spenders, boosting retailer hopes for solid sales in the lead-up to Christmas.
National accounts data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show household spending in the ACT grew by 0.4 per cent in the September quarter, well above the national average of 0.1 per cent, buoyed by low unemployment and firm house prices.
The result, combined with solid government spending and significant private sector investment, meant final demand in the ACT outstripped all other states and territories in the three months to September and grew 2.4 per cent for the year, well ahead of second-placed Victoria (1.8 per cent).
According to the ABS, both public and private investment in the ACT grew by more than 3 per cent in the September quarter, while government spending increased 1 per cent.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the figures confirmed the strength of Canberra's economy.
"The ACT is one of the few economic success stories in this country right now," the Chief Minister said. "As the national unemployment rate increases, the ACT continues to have one of the lowest unemployment levels in the country, with more job vacancies than job seekers."
In October, the ACT unemployment rate dropped to a national-low 3.3 per cent.
CommSec chief economist Craig James described the ACT result as "a beautiful set of numbers".
Mr James said the tight labour market, firm property prices and government spending, combined with record low official interest rates, were supporting consumer spending in the territory.
The Australian Retailers Association predicts Canberra retail sales will grow 2.6 per cent in the six weeks to Christmas, and executive director Russell Zimmerman said the September quarter result lent confidence to that forecast.
Canberra Business Chamber chief executive officer Michael Schaper said the growth figures supported a mood of "quiet confidence" among his members.
"You would much rather be us than almost anyone else," Dr Schaper said, adding that although government was an important part of the economy, the private sector now provided 64 per cent of jobs.
Mr Barr said growth was being driven by a diverse range of sectors including professional and technical services, education and training, health care and social assistance.
"The government will continue driving the diversification of Canberra's economy through investment attraction and facilitation, growing exports in products and services, developing key industries and strengthening the local innovation ecosystem," he said.