Small businesses in Northland are tracking some of the most significant growth in the country, as national revenue growth hits its highest level in five years.
The latest MYOB Business Monitor shows 38 per cent of small and medium enterprises in Northland increased their revenue in the 12 months to August, putting them on a par with growth in Auckland.
Northland had suffered in the survey during the past five years but the region is now one of two expected to experience the highest levels of growth in the coming year.
Nearly half of local businesses are expected to increase their revenue, with just 4 per cent forecast to lose revenue.
Northland Chamber of Commerce chief executive Tony Collins said local business confidence had been on the rise during the past 18 months.
"What we were expecting to see in the last six months' confidence was that it would translate into the bottom line," he said. "If the figures are up then that's started to happen."
Some sectors servicing the farming sector were doing better, along with an uplift in construction, Mr Collins said.
However, the local retail industry was inconsistent, and the dairy sector could suffer as dairy prices went down.
"Having said that, confidence is still up [and] people are still looking at employing in the very near future."
Nationally, 39 per cent of the country's 460,000 small businesses increased revenue in the year, compared with 30 per cent in the previous year.
MYOB chief executive Tim Reed said it was heartening to see small businesses in such good shape.
"What's particularly positive is that growth is no longer confined to just the two largest centres, with the rebuild in Christchurch and the expansion of Auckland no more the only drivers of the economy," Mr Reed said.
The whole country was enjoying solid levels of economic growth.
Christchurch still leads with 51 per cent growth in the 12-month period but regional New Zealand was not far behind, with Waikato and the Bay of Plenty experiencing higher growth than the national average. Only the Wellington region experienced subdued revenue.
The most significant improvements were in the retail and hospitality sector, followed by agriculture, forestry and fishing. Forecasts for the coming year predicted similar levels of growth, with 38 per cent anticipated to increase revenue and 43 per cent to remain steady.