A net 20 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 March 2019 quarter.

That is slightly down on the net 24 per cent posted for the December 2018 quarter.

"Household confidence in Northland continues to be buoyed by strong house price growth and a steady stream of people moving to the region," said Westpac chief economist Dominick Stephens.

"That said, the region has experienced a slight pickup in unemployment recently and concerns about the effects of dry weather conditions on agricultural production may have contributed to a slightly lower reading," said Stephens.


Regional confidence has deteriorated in eight out of 11 regions in the survey conducted over the period March 1-10, 2019.

– The biggest falls in confidence were in Auckland, Nelson/Marlborough/West Coast,
and Canterbury.

– Auckland is by far the most pessimistic region in the country.

– The only regions to report improved household confidence were fast growing Waikato and the Bay of Plenty, which is the most confident region in the country.

– Recent outperformers on the east coast of the North Island and the southern part of the South Island all experienced sharp drops in confidence as their overheating economies showed signs of cooling.