Confident Cantabrians buck national trend
Mon, 25 Jun 2012 1:10p.m.
New Zealand regional economic confidence fell in the second quarter, except in Canterbury, where optimism rallied to pre-earthquake levels.
The Westpac McDermott Miller Regional Economic Confidence Survey fell seven points to negative four in the three months ended June.
The biggest decline was in the Waikato with confidence tumbling 28 points to minus six and Otago down 13 points to a negative rating of 22.
Thanks to the Christchurch rebuild, households in Canterbury remained upbeat about the local economy, with confidence rising 17 points to a positive reading 25 on the long-running index.
At a negative rating of 33, Northland was the gloomiest region.
"Confidence in Canterbury has seen a major rebound from three months ago and is now the highest since February 2011 earthquake," said Felix Delbruck, senior economist.
"While parts of the economy continue to struggle, repair and reconstruction work is under way, the market for non-damaged homes has continued to pick up, and retail spending is almost back at pre-quake levels."
Public sector cutbacks continue to have an influence on the capital's confidence, falling a further six points to minus 24, making it the second most pessimistic region after Northland.
"Households in the region haven't been this downbeat about prospects for their local economy since the early 1990s recession - not too surprisingly in view of public sector cutbacks and another tight government budget," Mr Delbruck said.
Confidence in New Zealand's biggest city, Auckland slipped 11 points to a negative four rating.
Meanwhile, online job advertiser Seek reported on Monday that salaries in Canterbury outpaced the national trend by climbing an average 3.6 percent in the first six months of 2012.
The average pay on offer for Cantabrians increased by about $2,000 to $66,415, based on jobs advertised on Seek, although the average value of those jobs remains below the national average of $71,731, itself a rise of 1.4 percent over the first half of this year.
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