26 Jun 2012

'Two-speed growth' in NZ as rebuild starts

8:13 am on 26 June 2012

A bank economist says the nation is experiencing two-speed growth as Canterbury gears up for the rebuild and export regions battle softening global growth.

The Westpac McDermott Miller Regional Economic Confidence Survey asks households about their expectations for their local economy over the coming year.

Its latest results show confidence has slipped in almost all areas, with sentiment in dairy and agricultural export regions particularly hard-hit because of softening global demand.

But confidence surged in Canterbury to the highest level since the February 2011 earthquake.

Westpac senior economist Felix Delbruck says the results paint a fascinating picture about the shifting fortunes of different regions.

"We are certainly seeing two-speed growth in the economy," he says.

"That's going to stay a feature of the economic cycle over the next few years ... you'll see confidence stay higher in Canterbury, maybe at the expense of confidence in other regions," says Mr Delbruck.