The Christchurch earthquake has severely dented consumer confidence.
The Westpac-McDermott Miller consumer confidence index fell more than ten points to 97.9 in March.
A reading below 100 indicates pessimists outnumber optimists.
Westpac senior economist Dominick Stephens says consumers are much more pessimistic about the short-term economic outlook.
He attributes the fall in confidence to the earthquake.
Approximately 60% of people specifically cited the quake for their loss of confidence, and the decline was felt across the country, not just in Canterbury.
The ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence index, which was released on Wednesday, showed consumer confidence had fallen to a two-and-a-half year low.