It’s more boom than bust for Canterbury businesses

6 March 2023

Business expectations on the regional economy are improving across a range of measures according to the latest Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Canterbury Business Survey. 

Results of the survey were released this week at the Canterbury Insights Forum, hosted by The Chamber and bringing together data insights from The Chamber, ChristchurchNZ, and Research First

“Economic measures throughout the Canterbury region are showing a significant improvement, with more businesses expecting the regional economy to improve within the next 12 months’, more businesses willing to invest and more expecting their own earnings’ to increase in the foreseeable future, which is very pleasing to see given ongoing inflationary pressures,” says Leeann Watson, Chief Executive of the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce. 

“Canterbury’s regional economy is the strongest performer in New Zealand and despite 48% of businesses expecting conditions to worsen within the next 12 months, that number is beginning to decrease with more businesses expecting the economy to largely stay the same. 

“It’s more boom than bust for Canterbury businesses, with nearly half of all businesses within the region expecting their own earnings to improve in 12 months’ time compared to now.  This has increased considerably on the previous quarter. 

“Businesses are ready and willing to invest with three-quarters of businesses surveyed expecting to invest within the next 12 months with new equipment, training staff, and acquiring additional resource. 

“Canterbury businesses are remarking their own performance is ‘steady as she goes’ with a significant improvement in sentiment towards the regional economy than previously.  

“That being said, major issues such as labour market shortages, inflationary pressures and dwindling consumer confidence continue to remain at the top of mind for businesses. With 78% of businesses surveyed thinking New Zealand is heading in the wrong direction – a similar level to the previous year – there is clearly more work to do by the Government to provide support to recover the economy and promote economic growth.   

“On the whole, despite these ongoing challenges, the Canterbury economy is performing well, underpinned by sufficient housing stock and reliable infrastructure with a strong backbone of primary industries, manufacturing, and construction which position the region in a solid position to weather the economic challenges that are set to continue for quite some time.”   


Editor’s note: 

  • Click here to vist ChristchurchNZ’s Quarterly Economic Dashboard

For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Leeann Watson, Chief Executive, 027 447 7775, [email protected],

The Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce (The Chamber) is a not-for-profit membership-based service organisation that has been the home and voice of business in the Canterbury region since 1859. Comprised of over 2,700 member organisations that represent over 75,000 employees, The Chamber’s purpose is to empower people in business by providing advisory and consultancy support in employment relations, human resources, health and safety, international trade, manufacturing, migrant support, research and development grants, and training and development in many areas.