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BOP economic confidence continues rise

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Confidence in the Bay of Plenty region’s economic prospects lifted slightly in the June quarter according to a survey.

The Westpac-McDermott Miller Regional Economic Confidence survey shows regional economic confidence was a mixed bag during the June 2021 quarter.

Nine per cent of households in the Bay of Plenty are expecting their economy to improve over the coming year, compared to seven per cent in the March survey. 

“The region’s housing market is red-hot as sales volumes remained high and prices surged over the quarter says Westpac acting chief economist Michael Gordon.

“The region’s export and construction sectors are also performing strongly.

“Based on the strength of the kiwifruit and forestry sectors, we anticipate that there may be further lifts in confidence in the coming quarters.”

The survey was conducted over the period June 1 to 12. 

There was an even split between regions showing improved economic confidence and regions showing weakened confidence.

Across New Zealand, regional economic confidence was a mixed bag over the June 2021 quarter.

There was an even split between regions showing improved economic confidence and regions showing weakened confidence.

Booming construction has boosted Auckland and Waikato over the quarter.

The construction boom has also ignited the regions’ manufacturing sectors, which are running hot too.

Confidence in Auckland will have been further buoyed as the region emerged from the temporary March lockdown.

Also impacted this quarter’s results. Most notably, economic confidence slumped in Canterbury as the region was hit by severe flooding in early June.

With this in mind, it was no surprise that Canterbury recorded the largest dip in economic confidence over the quarter (down 17 points).

Meanwhile, confidence in Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay dipped, which may have been due to the drought conditions over the quarter.

Putting quarter-to-quarter movements aside, households in rural regions continue to be among the most confident across the country.

That includes regions like the Waikato, Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki/Manawatu-Whanganui and Southland. That said, two of the recent regional laggards, Auckland and Otago, have closed the gap over the quarter.

Auckland households recorded the largest improvement up 15 points over the June quarter.

Interestingly, there is little evidence that the March tax changes, targeting property investment, have impacted regional confidence, according to the survey results.

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