One of the big banks released its latest regional economic survey last week.  It showed Southland in a holding pattern, with recoveries in the housing market and consumer confidence.

It was prepared before the increase in Fonterra’s payout price (and before the Shield win).  Recent worldwide movements in skim milk powder sales should see a corresponding increase in prices for our milk products, particularly as US milk production is expected to decline further in the next two years.

So while we in the South continue to keeps the belts tightened and remain linked to world markets, the interest in our dairy products and the removal of EU subsidies on all dairy goods mean that we will be in a better position for the coming year.

It’s that sort of resilience that helps Southland get through the problems caused by credit-fuelled booms, and now that we are saving and investing again, we can enjoy the benefits of a strong economy.