New car registrations in the Palmerston North region have shown strong growth during 2012, an increase of 86% to the end of October, compared to the same period last year.
This was significantly higher, for the same period, than the growth of new car registrations in New Zealand, which increased by 18%.
Economic policy advisor Peter Crawford says the registration of 2,612 new cars in the region reflects strong economic activity and population growth in the region. These figures show a 5% increase against the peak reached in 2008.
"These figures reflect business confidence in the region and growth in spending amongst farmers," says Mr Crawford. "Farmers have been spending their high returns on new cars over the past 12 months."
Mayor Jono Naylor says the figures are a welcome sign of economic growth in the City. However, he says he is mindful that growth is not spread across all sectors.
The growth rate for new cars has climbed from 65% in July 2012 to 107% in October 2012.
Registrations for ex-overseas registered cars are below previous years with 1,631 cars registered in the Palmerston North region in the year to October 2012 compared with a peak of 5,084 cars in the year to January 2006.
Mr Crawford says this trend reflects the impact of tighter government import restrictions and a reduced supply of second hand cars in Japan.