The Bay of Plenty has been named the most positive region in New Zealand for the fifth quarter in a row.
The June Westpac McDermott Miller Regional Economic Confidence survey has found a total of 41 per cent of households believe the region's economic fortunes will improve over the coming year, up from a net 35 per cent in March. This places the Bay ahead of any other region in the country, with Canterbury in second at 26 per cent.
Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby (pictured below) said he was not surprised.
"We know that many sectors are running strong at the moment across the board," he said.
"I know unemployment is at one of its lowest points ever. But we should never take these things for granted. We need to make sure that we have constant growth moving forward. Our growth and confidence needs to be sustainable over a longer period of time - that then gives people the confidence to make investments."
Mr Crosby said he saw no reason why the Bay could not continue the trend.
"Everywhere I go people are upbeat. They are very, very busy in whatever businesses they are in, which is good. They are confident. But it's important that we make sure that all of our community benefits from the strong economy, not just parts of it."
Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chairwoman Toni Palmer said there were several factors that helped keep the Bay ahead.
"The positivity reflects confidence in the main economic drivers in the region, for example, horticulture is strong, the building industry is strong and all the businesses that support these are benefiting from the flow-on effect," she said.
"This creates a vibrant and exciting business environment that attracts people to the area and grows our region."
Westpac chief economist Dominick Stephens said the survey was another excellent result for the Bay.
"Going by a number of economic indicators, it is not surprising that the region has been the most optimistic for five consecutive quarters. House prices are growing, creating a sense of wealth, unemployment rates are low, and horticulture is enjoying a purple patch."
"We would expect consumers in the Bay of Plenty to be feeling confident given their current economic situation," said Mr Stephens.
"It is worth noting that the region is one of just two in which respondents expect things to get better over both the one-year and five-year horizons."