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West Coast tops economic growth for the September quarter

Wednesday 16th November 2011

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The West Coast remains the country's top ranked region for annual economic growth since December 2010, tied with the Auckland region. The region experienced 2 percent growth in the September quarter according to the National Bank's regional trends survey.

The West Coast was one of nine regions across the New Zealand to record a lift in economic activity over the quarter. Five registered weaker economic activity.

Overall, the survey showed nationwide economic activity lifted 0.6 percent, the result coming on the heels of a 1.1 percent increase in June.

National Bank economist Steve Edwards said growth was greatest in the South Island, increasing 1.1 percent, compared with 0.5 percent in the North.

Following the Christchurch earthquakes, growth had rebounded to 1.8 percent for the September quarter, the second strong quarterly rise in a row for the region.

This means the West Coast has overtaken Canterbury as the fastest growing region in the South, and now sits alongside Auckland as the fastest growing region for economic activity.

The West Coast experienced a 15 percent lift in commercial building permits, a three year high, while the number of homes in the region surged 13 percent.

The September survey is the first time Auckland has topped the economic growth stakes since 1995.

The city's 2 percent activity increase was largely propelled by the Rugby World Cup spending and tourism, said Edwards.


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