Capital confidence lowest in a decade
Wellington's economic confidence continues to slide, falling to the lowest level in more than a decade.
The latest Westpac McDermott Miller regional economic confidence survey, which compares the number of optimists and pessimists in a region, found a net 24 per cent had a negative outlook for the economy of the Wellington region over the coming year.
In March a net 18 per cent in Wellington was pessimistic.
Wellington was the second most negative region in New Zealand, behind Northland, although confidence in the northern-most part of the country actually improved slightly, by 2 per cent to a net 33 per cent pessimism.
Nationwide there are a net 4 per cent pessimists, compared to a net 3 per cent positive in the March quarter.
Westpac senior economist Felix Delbruck linked the decline in confidence in the capital to belt tightening within the public sector.
''Households in the region haven't been this downbeat about prospects for their local economy since the early 1990s recession - not too surprising in view of public sector cutbacks and another tight government budget.''
The downbeat view of the economy is translating into lower figures in the consumer confidence survey, which questions respondents about their own personal financial fortunes for the year ahead, rather than that of the wider economy.
In previous surveys Wellingtonians have been among the most upbeat about household finances in the country, despite being pessimistic about the region. However in the March survey, Wellington's consumer confidence was the strongest in the country, equal with the Nelson/Marlborough/West Coast region. However in June confidence dropped 5.7 per cent to 100.5. This was still slightly stronger than the New Zealand-wide picture of consumer confidence, which showed a score of 99.9, a decline of 2.5 per cent over three months earlier.
A score of more than 100 signals that households are on balance, optimistic about personal situations for the next 12 months.
The survey questioned 1570 people in the first 10 days of June.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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