The Bay has topped the country in its economic confidence for the fourth consecutive quarter, according to the Westpac McDermott Miller Regional Economic Confidence report for the March quarter.

Regional economic confidence slipped slightly, to a net 35% of respondents feeling optimistic about the outlook.

Tourism is booming with guest nights approaching 3.5 million a year, huge growth in population is driving new dwelling construction activity, and the horticulture sector is enjoying a purple patch.

Although the forestry outlook is not so good, the region is far less exposed to dairy, which is in dire straits.