Consumer confidence remains near nine-year highs in New
Zealand, with a slight drop in June due mainly to a drop in
economic optimism in smaller centres and rural areas.
The fall in confidence is consistent with a recent fall in
dairy prices, Westpac economist Felix Delbruck says.
The Westpac McDermott Miller consumer confidence index stands
at 121.2 points in June, down -0.5 from March.
New Zealand economic news had been more mixed in the past
The construction boom had continued but there had been a more
than 20% drop in global dairy prices, the Reserve Bank was
raising interest rates and the housing market had been
''In view of all this, it's perhaps surprising consumer
confidence hasn't fallen more. Overall consumer confidence
remains extremely high and today's survey gives little sense
households' spending appetites have cooled,'' Mr Delbruck
Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie said
national consumer confidence figures were mirrored in the
South with a ''booming'' Central Otago-Lakes district offset
by slightly less confidence in Dunedin because of the dairy
price fall and other factors associated with servicing the
However, Dunedin had a role to play in providing
infrastructure for the province through Port of Otago being a
major transport hub, and tertiary institutions providing
''I suspect a displacement from Christchurch helping
confidence in Queenstown and the Lakes district with average
spending up and house prices remaining high.
''Right across the region, the tourism market is coming back
strongly. We are seeing the return of traditional markets to
the South and the strong growth from China looks good for us
in the next season.''
The Otago chamber expected there to be a lot of activity in
spring, Mr Christie said.