3 July 2024

No 1 ranked region: Southland topples Auckland for top spot

Each quarter ASB puts together a “Regional Scoreboard” which ranks regions based on year-to-year growth across a range of measures. Southland has been ranked No 1.

Southland is “a force to be reckoned with” economically, according to a research report collated by the ASB Bank.

Each quarter ASB puts together a “Regional Scoreboard” which ranks regions based on year-to-year growth across a range of measures.

It includes employment, building consents, and retail sales.

In ASB’s latest Regional Scoreboard released on Wednesday it ranked Southland in top spot toppling Auckland who had held the No 1 spot.

Southland was ranked the No 11 region in the last quarter but has rocketed up the list.

The report says Southland construction consents grew by 53.3% year on year, which was the largest growth by any region.

It was largely driven by non-residential construction consents, pointing to the focus on large infrastructure projects in the region, such as the investment in flood protection.

The housing sector has improved and shaken off the previous quarter’s fall in house prices.

House prices in Southland grew 4.4% year on year and house sales increased 32%.

Consumer confidence has had a huge rebound, going from last to second highest among the regions.

The report says that was possibly helped by favourable weather supporting farmers’ production.

Employment in the region has slowed down since the previous quarter, only increasing by 0.7% year on year.

New car sales increased 16.2%, not experiencing the hangover some other regions have felt with the end to EV subsidies.

The report says it has been very impressive all around for the deep south and expects it will continue.

“After an 11th place finish last quarter, Southland has proven it is a force to be reckoned with.”

“We think Southland’s time to shine could extend a little longer. Favourable farming conditions relative to other areas of the country will help revenues and confidence.

“Moreover, Southland’s growing preference as a location for data centres suggest ongoing employment and growth opportunities that often come hand in hand with diversification,” the report says.

Southland Business Chamber CEO Sharee Carey has long said 2024 would be key to setting up Southland’s economic future and ASB’s Regional Scoreboard highlighted the province is in a good position.

“I am surprised we have jumped so high. I knew the region was doing well I guess from the latest GDP figures.

“But I didn’t realise the impact of the things like the flood protection work was having on the region. I know that was a huge piece of work but when you see what it has done for the overall economic conditions it’s fabulous.”

Carey was particularly encouraged by the report suggesting that Southland’s time to shine will continue.

“It is our time to shine… For me, the hard work that has been put in by a group of Southlanders over the last three years, with the Just Transition work pre the Tiwai announcement, to ensure that our region was ready for the diversification is paying off.

“We are now being seen as a growth region because the confidence is there for people to come and invest in our region,” Carey said.


Source: Southland Tribune; and The Southland Times Southland knocks Auckland off top spot for economic growth – 3 July 2024;

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