Hawke's Bay's annual growth rate in spending for June was up 3.6 per cent compared with June 2013, according to the latest Paymark figures.
The increase in value of spending was lower than the national increase of 5.9 per cent.
Paymark processes about three-quarters of all electronic transactions in New Zealand.
Head of customer relations Mark Spicer said it was pleasing to see faster growth in the last year "both for us and our customers".
"But the reality is that growth per merchant has been modest on average in the last three years and for some businesses it has been below expectation."
Nationwide spending through the Paymark network between June 2013 and 2014 was up 7.3 per cent, in contrast with 2012/2013 and 2011/2012 which both sat at 3.6 per cent.
He said election years were known for increased growth and this year's spending indicated the election cycle had arrived.
The experience was mixed across sectors and regions.
The average increase per merchant during the last three years was 10.4 per cent. Sectors enjoying above-average growth included hardware stores (up 37.4 per cent) and cafes/restaurants (up 21.7 per cent).
The automotive sector was up 16.3 per cent, helped by higher petrol prices.
Spending per merchant increased less for clothing retailers (up 7.7 per cent), chemists (up 3.4 per cent) and fruit produce retailers (up 1.1 per cent).
Annual growth last month was strong for food and liquor stores (up 9.7 per cent) and across the hospitality sector (up 9.9 per cent).
Department stores were down 4 per cent on June last year with appliance retailers down 6.5 per cent and clothing shops 5.3 per cent.
The annual June-to-June growth rate was highest in Southland (up 8.5 per cent) and Otago (up 6.8 per cent) and lowest in South Canterbury (up 0.9 per cent), Nelson (up 1.1 per cent) and Taranaki (up 1.9 per cent). Mr Spicer said the mild start to winter meant winter goods purchases were delayed.
"Weather often has a marked effect on the volume of payments through our network so as it gets colder, we'd expect to see an increase in spending at those outlets that provide appliances and services that keep us warm."