A net 24 per cent of households in Northland expect their region's economy to strengthen over the coming year, according to the Westpac-McDermott Miller Regional Economic Confidence survey for the December 2018 quarter.

That is slightly up on the net 22 per cent posted in the September quarter.

"This slight improvement is likely to reflect the impact of still rising house prices, lower interest rates, stronger population growth and falling petrol prices," said Westpac chief economist Dominick Stephens.

"A planned acceleration in government spending should have helped lift the mood in a region which stands to benefit greatly from allocations out of the Provincial Growth Fund."


The Westpac-McDermott Miller survey also examines consumers' views on their own economic situation, producing an index that summarises responses to questions including how respondents view their own financial situation, their current willingness to buy a major household item and the outlook for the national economy.

The Westpac-McDermott Miller Consumer Confidence Index for Northland rose from 105 in September to 108 in the December quarter.

"Northlanders are feeling a little more confident than they were about the New Zealand economy, and are a bit more optimistic about their own financial circumstances over the next 12 months," Stephens said.

"Consumers in the region are showing a bigger willingness to purchase a major household item, which bodes well for retailers."

The survey was conducted over the period December 1-11, 2018.