Ashburton's Economic Position

Pristine scenery, close proximity to major centers, excellent facilities, and a welcoming and connected community. These are just some of the things that make Ashburton District such an outstanding place to live. But it’s not just our social and recreational features that put us on the map: our economy is in a strong position too, and that means good things for our community.

The latest Infometrics Quarterly Economic Review Monitor’s report shows that during the year to September 2018 quarter, Ashburton’s economy grew 2.3 per cent (totaling $1,971 million). That’s a significant improvement on the 1.1 per cent growth we experienced during the same period in 2017.

Many of our primary sector industries have had excellent returns on their exports, including forestry, horticultural products and meat. These sectors experienced an increase in their export prices of 10 to 20 per cent. It wasn’t outstanding news for all of our primary producers though; dairy prices did come under pressure during the quarter.

On another front, retail spend was up significantly – an extra $7 million (6.6 per cent) to be exact. This behaviour has excellent flow-on effects for the district and it’s something we’d like to see even more of. Speaking to some local businesses, I understand that these figures don’t always tell the story of every retailer, however on the whole, the report is showing us that from a broader district point of view, things are looking good for this sector.

It’s pleasing to see people spending money in our local businesses. It reconfirms the importance of Council’s commitment to revitalising Ashburton’s Central Business District. People are willing to spend money, and we need to encourage this behaviour by making sure the district is as inviting and accessible as they can be.

While our district is not immune to economic challenges, the data we are seeing certainly indicates we are in a positive position and in a good space to face those hurdles as they may arise.

These figures support what so many in our community know to be true; that we are a well-positioned and prosperous district with great opportunities and a wonderful lifestyle to match. Call me biased, but I’m a very big fan of our corner of New Zealand, and looking at the evidence, it’s not hard to see why.

If you’d like to keep up with what’s happening in our local economy, or want to take a look at the Infometrics Quarterly Economic Monitor, you can access a suite of resources on the Council’s website, which the Council has made freely available to everyone. Just head to

Page reviewed: 20 Feb 2019 1:16pm