Economic confidence at 4-year high

Last updated 13:00 19/12/2013

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Economic confidence is at its highest in four years in the Nelson Marlborough and West Coast region, a survey shows.

The latest Westpac McDermott Miller Regional Economic Confidence survey found economic confidence in the region had risen for the fifth quarter in a row.

That matched other signs of economic recovery: unemployment has fallen this year, Nelson house prices are back above their 2007 peak, and commercial construction has picked up.

Its findings show households expecting good economic times in the region over the year ahead rose from a net 33 per cent in September to a net 35 per cent in December.

The national average was for a net 28 per cent to expect good times ahead for their region.

"The continued lift in economic confidence in this diverse region matches other signs that the local economy is on the mend," Westpac chief economist Dominick Stephens said.

"Unemployment has fallen this year, Nelson house prices are back above their 2007 peak, and commercial construction has picked up."

Separately, the regional breakdown of the Westpac McDermott Miller Consumer Confidence Index showed Nelson, Marlborough, West Coast consumer confidence rose slightly from 115 in September to 116 in December, still below the national average of 120.1.

"Consumer confidence in the region has also picked up modestly, but it remains lower than six months ago, with people less optimistic about their own finances. For retailers, this suggests there is still some caution about," Mr Stephens said.

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- The Nelson Mail

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