The Bay of Plenty has knocked New Zealand out of its top spot in the ASB regional scoreboard for the September quarter.
The NZ Regional Economic Scoreboard takes the latest quarterly regional statistics and ranks the economic performance of New Zealand's 16 Regional Council areas, based on measures such as employment, construction, retail trade and house prices.
The report said that although Auckland had retained its five star ranking, a softer qaurter in its labour market had seen it slip into second place behind the Bay of Plenty, which had been "outperforming" in several sectors.
"Jobs growth in the [Bay of Plenty] has been outperforming, holding on to the top spot for the second quarter in a row," the report said. "The Bay of Plenty is also enjoying a strong housing market - and we're hearing stories about happy cashed-up Aucklanders moving to the region. Indeed, house sales, house prices and construction were all star performers over the quarter, securing the Bay of Plenty its fifth star."
Despite this, it said the region still had room for improvement in its retail sales and confidence.
Consumer confidence in Auckland took a hit this quarter, sinking to its lowest level in 3 years, however strong migration continued to boost population growth which then had a flow on effect into retial, car sales and housing prices. Construction activity was still high, but it needed to pick up if it is going to meet demand in New Zealand's fastest growing region, the report said.