28 Apr 2011

Mixed messages still on farmer confidence

1:00 pm on 28 April 2011

The country's biggest rural lender, the National Bank, says a lift in commodity prices is helping to prop up the rural sector but farmer confidence levels are still mixed.

The bank's chief economist, Cameron Bagrie, says confidence levels are picking up in rural regions, with some farmers starting to open their chequebooks.

But some, he says, are still struggling to control debt and costs.

Mr Bagrie says he expects more farmers and growers to open their chequebooks and spend more as the year goes on.