An upswing in construction activity in Canterbury is spurring international migration into the city which is spilling over into other areas of the economy.
The ASB Bank's monthly Cantometer measures about 17 different statistics in five indexes, including construction, migration and employment.
The index, which was set to zero in June 2010, rose from 0.7 to 0.8 in June, implying overall activity exceeds pre-earthquake levels.
ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley said the increase is a significant lift in activity compared with pre-earthquake levels, and it's not just in the construction sector.
He said there has been a strong recovery in retail spending and there is an ongoing surge in the number of people shifting to Canterbury from overseas with a dip in the number of people leaving Canterbury.