Rotorua mayor Kevin Winters says the 2011 Regional Rankings report by BERL (Business & Economic Research Ltd) show a number of encouraging economic indicators for Rotorua, and give reason for some real optimism for the future.
Mr Winters said that while it was early days yet he was hopeful that with the increased focus on sustainable economic growth by the council and its partners this performance would be further built on over the months and years ahead.
"BERL's report says that Rotorua has shown some 'very positive economic trends' and they describe the district's economic performance in 2011 as 'stellar', which are very heartening comments.
"We're particularly pleased to see Rotorua boost its economic ranking by seven spots to be now listed as the 12th ranked city in New Zealand.
"Employment has been another success story for Rotorua in 2011 with the BERL report revealing that we were the city with the second fastest employment growth in the country, and had the fourth fastest employment growth of all 66 local authority areas.
"We also recorded the fifth fastest GDP growth of all New Zealand cities.
"Particularly pleasing is news that Rotorua experienced the seventh biggest gain in overall economic performance out of all New Zealand local authorities, jumping 20 places to 37th in the country in 2011.
Rotorua District Council Economic & Regulatory Services group manager Mark Rawson said the BERL Regional Rankings report listed Rotorua as the city with the sixth highest rating on their 'Relative Openness Index'.
"This reflects the unique balance and diversity across our local economy, especially our key industry sectors of tourism, forestry and agriculture.
Mr Rawson said the Relative Openness Index measured the proportion of GDP accounted for by sectors open to competition from abroad, compared to that proportion nationally.
"Rotorua's ranking on this measure indicates that our local economy is more oriented towards internationally competitive activities as against areas with a more domestic market focus."
He noted that the report's findings were tempered by less satisfying results in population growth and business unit growth.
"These come as no surprise to us and they are indicators being specifically addressed by the council through implementation of the recently developed Sustainable Economic Growth Strategy, in partnership with our new economic development CCO (council controlled organisation) and other key community and government organisations.
"Overall the BERL report is very good news for the whole Bay of Plenty region which is ranked second in performance out of all regions in the country. We're also pleased for our neighbours in Tauranga whose economic performance in 2011 put them into the top spot amongst New Zealand cities, for economic performance," said Mr Rawson.
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