The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research is forecasting a gradual pickup in economic growth over the next year or two.
Its latest Quarterly Predictions have economic growth rising gradually to 1.7 per cent this year, from 1.3 per cent last year, and then 2.7 per cent next year.
That compared with about $1.2 billion in all of 2011.
Overall building activity was still below pre-quakes levels, but non-residential building activity was really starting to grow, said Statistics NZ project manager Clara Eatherley.
"We are seeing more consents coming through but we're also seeing slightly larger valued consents. These are primarily non-residential consents."