After spending two quarters climbing from 13th equal on the scoreboard to first, Gisborne has held onto its place at the top of the ASB Regional Economic Scoreboard.
As well as securing gold and a five-star rating, Gisborne also led the regions in retail sales, house price growth and construction on an annual growth basis.
"Gisborne has been on an excellent run with its diverse mix of export industries," said ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley.
"It also seems that the impact of the recent weakening of log prices has yet to be felt in the region. Looking ahead, we anticipate that the record meat prices are likely to see the region stay near the top of the Scoreboard over 2020," said Tuffley.
After falling from first to fifth last quarter, the Hawke’s Bay regained its speed, pulling back into second place and claiming the silver medal.
"After a one-quarter hiatus, the Hawke’s Bay is back snapping at Gisborne’s heels on the Scoreboard. Given that the Bay has claimed the silver medal this quarter, our move for the region to retain its five-star rating last quarter has proved justified," said Tuffley.
The accommodation and retail sectors were the region’s hotspots over the September quarter, with Tuffley saying he expected the economic good times to roll on in 2020.
"With the majority of Bay industries in rude health we expect the region to duke it out with neighbour Gisborne, and other willing regions, for top stop in the Scoreboard over the next few quarters," said Tuffley.
Auckland has leaped seven places to third equal this quarter, after languishing between 7th and 10th place for the last three quarters.
"Auckland consumers were feeling chirpy over the quarter, leading the nationwide consumer confidence measure," said Tuffley.
"Perhaps this buoyancy owes to the housing market showing signs of life, after a prolonged hiatus. On that front and with mortgage rates near record lows, perhaps Auckland may be sizing up Gisborne’s top spot. Indeed, we might get to see Goliath take on David over coming quarters," said Tuffley.
Auckland claimed a five-star rating alongside its bronze medal.
The up-down pattern of Northland’s Scoreboard rankings has continued this quarter, with the region slipping back to 10th equal from third last quarter.
Unfortunately this dip, and the region’s new position in the bottom half of the scoreboard, meant the North lost a star, falling back to a three-star rating.
"Volatile results aside, we anticipate that Northland’s diverse industry base will serve it well over 2020, particularly as the horticulture and beef sectors perform well. In that sense, it’s a case of bring on the new year for the North," said Tuffley.
The bright spot for the regions was housing market activity this quarter, with the region recording the second-highest annual growth in sales in the country.
"Outside of housing however, Nelson’s results were decidedly mediocre. Perhaps the region’s economy needs to look to the victorious Makos for some inspiration," said Tuffley.
The full ASB Regional Economic Scoreboard, along with other recent ASB reports covering a range of commentary, can be accessed at our ASB Economic Insights page: https://www.asb.co.nz/documents/economic-insights.html