Confidence can be a fickle thing.
When you have it, you can achieve anything and when it takes a knock, everything else goes. How many times have we seen it in rugby, when an early knock-on can put paid to the effectiveness of even the most talented of players for the rest of the game.
Confidence in an economic context can send a region or country into a time of boom or bust. When confidence in a region or country improves, it means life does get better.
The latest The Westpac McDermott Miller Regional Economic Confidence survey for the fourth quarter of 2012 released this week is, on the whole, good news for the Hawke's Bay/Gisborne region.
On the one hand spending in the region ensured consumer confidence leapt by the largest margin in New Zealand in the fourth quarter, but the regional confidence still hangs in the balance. While there was an improvement from -13 per cent in the third quarter, the fourth quarter figure of zero means that there are an equal number of people who are negative about future growth in the region as there are those who are positive.
I prefer to look on the bright side of things. The consumer confidence figure is the important one because that shows that people were prepared to go out and spend.
It is understandable that some people are cautious about the economic outlook for the region because we have been through a tough time recently and many are still not sure we are over the worst.
The green shoots are there and slowly but surely we are seeing the mood change. Retail is up and the housing market is starting to fire - life is getting better.
Hopefully we keep growing. The region deserves it.