The Manawatū/Whanganui region appears to have fared better than most during the lock-down-hit June quarter, according to the latest ASB Regional Economic Scoreboard.
Meanwhile Canterbury and Auckland have been hit hard, falling sharply in the survey's regional rankings.
The ASB Regional Scoreboard breaks down economic data by region based on 11 measures, including employment, construction, retail trade, and house prices.
It ranks the 16 major provincial regions on an index measuring relative movement on a quarterly basis.
The Manawatū and Whanganui region weathered the Covid storm and came out on top this quarter, rising six places to sit at the top of the table.
Its agri-based economy meant the region was more resilient than most, said ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley.
"Manawatū and Whanganui are less dependent on international tourism and should be able to manage the impacts of Covid-19 better than most, which is what we're seeing shine through this quarter."
Hawke's Bay and Gisborne were also both strong performers in second and third position.
Canterbury took the biggest hit during the quarter - falling nine places in the rankings - although that was from a relatively strong position (and a big rise in the previous March quarter).
Statistics across the board were lacklustre this quarter, Tuffley said.
Retail sales dropped 14.9 per cent and construction was down 26 per cent.
House prices saw an increase of 2.6 per cent, however, this was the third lowest change across the country.
"It's important to note that our regional scoreboard measures growth rates over the past 12 months so some of Canterbury's fall reflects previously high activity levels, however, it would be good to see these indicators performing better," Tuffley said.
The region also remains near the bottom of the pack for consumer confidence. Both retail sales and new car registrations have declined more than elsewhere.
Auckland also took a fall - down 3 places on the scorecard.
This was a reflection of the region's reliance on the tourism and education sectors, Tuffley said.
That had caused some big shifts in the data.
New car registrations "cratered" at the lowest levels in nearly a decade, he said.
Meanwhile, annual employment fell for the first time since 2013.
Annual house price growth was below the national average, and the imposition
of lockdown led to a large fall in construction.
One bright spot was that retail sales held up better than elsewhere.
But that the June quarter did not include Auckland's shift back to Covid alert level 3 at the beginning of August, Tuffley warned.
"Don't be too surprised to see the region slide relative to its peers when the next quarter of data is out."
The absence of international tourists also appears to be weighing heavily on the Nelson region which was stuck at the bottom of the rankings.
Consumer confidence in the upper South Island was very pessimistic and retail sales were among the weakest in the country.
Broadly, the North island outperformed the South during the quarter, Tuffley said.
The lower North Island regions claimed the top four spots on the scoreboard.
In comparison, the West Coast, Marlborough, Otago, Canterbury and Nelson claimed the bottom five spots on the table with poor performance across a number of measures.
"The border closure is causing a big and lasting economic impact. Relative to their populations, the South Island regions have historically had higher earnings from international tourists than most North Island regions," Tuffley said.