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Canterbury outpaces Auckland growth says National Bank

Tuesday 22nd May 2012

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Canterbury has outpaced Auckland to gain the top spot in year on year growth, as the city's rebuild kicks into action, according to the National Bank's regional trends survey for the March quarter.

Growth was stronger across all 10 of New Zealand's 14 regions, led by Canterbury, up 2.8 percent, followed by a 2.7 percent rise in Auckland.

Overall, the survey showed a nationwide economic activity lift of 1.6 percent year on year to March 31. That's up 50 percent on the year-on-year growth rate to Dec. 31.

"Canterbury continues to recover from last year's devastating earthquakes," said Steven Edwards, economics division at National Bank of New Zealand. "Four solid quarterly increases in economic activity have propelled Canterbury to the top of the year-on-year economic growth rankings."

Canterbury experienced at 4.7 percent increase in employment in the March quarter, while the number of residential building consents rose 34 percent, according to data from Statistics New Zealand.

The ANZ's regional job advertisements series for the region hit a record high, up 24 percent in the December quarter. Growth was greatest in the South Island, increasing 2.1 percent, compared with 1.5 percent in the North. Wellington was the worst performer, recording a 0.2 decrease in year-on-year growth.

Employment in the capital city fell 0.7 percent in the March quarter. ANZ's composite measure of internet and newspaper job advertising also fell to a historic low in February. Nationwide economic growth increased 0.7 percent in the March quarter against the December quarter.

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