Cantabrians are the most confident about the prospects of their economy of all regions in the country.
Economic confidence is surging ahead in the region and leading the country ''by a country mile'', Westpac McDermott Miller's latest regional economic confidence survey for the September quarter shows.
Confidence in the Canterbury economy rose to a net 36 per cent from a net 25 per cent in the June quarter.
The survey showed 57 per cent of households in Canterbury expected good times for the local economy, as opposed to 21 per cent expecting bad times, resulting in the net 36 per cent positive reading.
Cantabrians are now the most optimistic they have been since mid-2010, before the first earthquake.
Elsewhere, households' confidence in their local economy rose in six out of 11 regions.
In most regions, cautious optimism or mild pessimism predominates.
Westpac said the repair and rebuild of Canterbury was now clearly under way, but while it would increasingly create jobs it would also divert people and money from other regions.
The closest region in confidence to Canterbury is Taranaki-Manawatu-Wanganui on a positive 10 per cent, up from 4 per cent in the June quarter.
In the North Island, economic confidence has risen in most areas, but it has fallen in the South Island except for Canterbury.
Southland's economic confidence has plummeted to a negative 35 per cent from a positive 32 per cent three months ago, and Westpac suspects the threat of job losses at the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter is behind that.
Otago's confidence has fallen further to negative 26 per cent from negative 22 per cent three months ago, while Nelson-Marlborough and West Coast confidence fell to zero from a positive 4 per cent.
Wellingtonians remained pessimistic but a lot less than three months ago. The confidence level rose to minus 7 per cent from minus 24 per cent. There might be a sense that the worst was behind them.
In Auckland, confidence rose slightly to minus 1 per cent from minus 4 per cent. The economy there was facing the opposing forces of a heating-up housing market but a struggling manufacturing sector.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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