Economic indicators are increasingly pointing up, according to the Hawke's Bay Economic Monitor.
The quarterly report, commissioned by the Hawke's Bay Chamber of Commerce from Economic Solutions, says a number of indicators are turning positive.
"I detect in my analysis there are some glimmers of hope," the report's author, Sean Bevin, told Hawke's Bay Today.
"We are not out of the woods yet - we are a lot behind where we were five years ago - but I think with the slight improvement in consented residential buildings of about 4 per cent, the increase in motor vehicles sales and houses sales - there seems to be a little bit more consumer confidence."
He said the general feeling was cautious optimism.
"There is a lot of good stuff going on."
He said as well as the economic indicators, quality of life was an important factor in Hawke's Bay and could be a key to growth.
"I think we have got to continue to market the beauty and opportunities of this region for residential living."
That same residential quality of life could also attract businesses, he said.
"A huge proportion of businesses don't employ any staff - people like me: consultants, self-employed, contractors.
"It is an ideal place to run a business nationally as well as locally.
"Whenever I go to the Chamber of Commerce functions I am constantly amazed at the number of entrepreneurial businesses that are out there that people don't know about."
He said favourable weather over the next few months would confirm the positive economic trend.
"You've got the Christmas spending, post-Christmas family tourism, cruise ship visits and horticultural harvests. That's the reality of Hawke's Bay - from December to May is the crunch time for the region."