Horticulture continues to be a stand-out performer across a number of New Zealand regional economies, with kiwifruit expected to produce record returns this season.
The latest ASB 'Regional Economic Scoreboard' ranks the performance of 16 regions using the latest quarterly regional statistics.
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The ratings measure income growth,employment, construction activity, retail trading and house prices.
For the June quarter Otago was the top-performing regional economy with strong rural income growth.
The Bay of Plenty, Hawke's Bay and Gisborne economies followed Otago, underpinned by strong growth in the horticuture.
"The Kiwifruit export season got off to a rollicking start in the quarter," according to ASB economist Nathan Penny.
He expects the kiwifruit sector will produce record-high returns this season.
Hawke's Bay jumped 10 spots in the regional scoreboard, thanks in part to the region's bumper grape harvest.
Nathan Penny said Gisborne is also riding relatively high, claiming fourth spot with Gisborne's primary sectors firing.
Meanwhile, concern over Mycoplasma bovis is thought to be cooling rural sector incomes in Southland.
"This cautiousness in Southland is being reflected in low consumer confidence and very low retail sales growth," said Mr Penny.