Activity in the Canterbury region has reached a new high driven by consumer confidence, with more people splashing out on hardware, building and garden supplies.
The ASB Bank's monthly Cantometer measures about 17 different statistics in five indices, including construction, migration and employment.
The index, which was set to zero in June 2010, rose to a high of 1.4 in March, its highest level it's so far.
Statistics New Zealand's retail trade indicator showed a seasonally adjusted 3.5 percent increase in retail and hospitality sales in Christchurch city for the three months to December, compared with 1.2 percent nationally.
ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley says the construction pick-up is spreading throughout the region's economy, retail growth is very strong and consumer confidence is very high.
He says that illustrates the flow-through effect of more people working in the construction sector and supporting industries