Official figures show the Canterbury economy has been constrained only moderately by the region's earthquakes.
Details were given in an economic report presented to a special Cabinet meeting in Christchurch on Monday.
The report shows a 13% increase in the number of Cantabrians claiming unemployment benefit since the February earthquake and a rise in the number of people moving away from the city.
Consumer spending was only 5 - 10% lower than in the rest of the country despite short-lived dips after each major quake.
About 1000 commercial buildings were wrecked, but the report shows their occupants set up premises elsewhere and carried on with business.
The Port of Lyttelton earned more during the year despite being damaged, due to soaring exports of logs, coal and dairy products.