Hawke's Bay consumers optimistic

By Jonathan Dine

2 comments
Consumer confidence surged up to 117.1 in December surpassing the national average of 110.7.
Consumer confidence surged up to 117.1 in December surpassing the national average of 110.7.

Hawke's Bay consumers are the most positive in the country, according to a recent survey.

Consumer confidence surged up to 117.1 in December surpassing the national average of 110.7, a Westpac McDermott Miller Regional Economic Confidence Survey showed. People responded positively when asked about their financial situation and willingness to buy major household items.

A net 42 per cent of residents thought now was a good time to buy a large household item, which was the highest level ever recorded in the region.

"The mix of a very positive consumer confidence reading, and a more subdued regional economic outlook, suggests respondents are more upbeat about their own immediate and longer term fortunes than for the region as a whole," Westpac Industry Economist David Norman said.

Hawke's Bay and Gisborne residents were also positive about the growth of the regional economy. For the fifth straight quarter, there was an improvement in Hawke's Bay residents' views of how the regional economy will pan out over the next 12 months.

According to December's survey, a net 14 per cent of respondents were positive about economic growth.

This was up from a net 2 per cent feeling pessimistic in September 2014.

Mr Norman said this was another step up for the region.

Electronic card sales have risen modestly, and there has been some growth in house prices, which is another measure of regional economic confidence.

The survey was conducted over the period December 1 to December 11, 2015.

Tukituki MP Craig Foss said almost everyone he had spoken to was saying the region's economy was really moving forward.

He believes National's ongoing solid economic growth, low inflation, low interest rates, broadband rollout, excellent growing conditions and free trade agreements are all enabling growth for the Bay.

"Confidence will continue to grow as the ongoing opportunities for job and export growth are realised. The final go-ahead for the Ruataniwha project will be another huge boost to our region's economy."

He said the TPPA will bring unprecedented opportunities: "I cannot understand why the Opposition Labour Party refuses to support free trade, given this deal includes 40 per cent of the global economy."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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