A newfound confidence in Hastings CBD has been reflected by an increase in retail spending.
For the second quarter in a row, spending in Hastings is up by 20 per cent.
Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule said it was good news.
"That gives us six months of steady increases which is a sign of confidence in our district, both by businesses and residents." Figures showed retail spending in the three months from January to March was up 22.5 per cent on the same period last year.
In the three months to December spending was up by just under 20 per cent on the same period the year before.
Nationally, spending was up by 3.8 per cent in the March quarter and 2.6 per cent in the December quarter.
"Our results over six months show that Hastings' economy is on an upward climb and that is very good news," Mr Yule added. "To be up by almost a quarter is excellent and, with horticulture and many of our other industries showing signs of having a very good year, there is every reason to expect this trend to continue."
The total spending in the first three months of this year was measured at $59.5 million in the Hastings District Council-commissioned Marketview report, which used credit card and eftpos transactions to measure spending trends. There was more good news in the report, Mr Yule said.
Locals were spending more in their own district but transactions by people from outside the region were up most notably from Napier - up 42 per cent - and areas outside Hawke's Bay - up 38.5 per cent.
The total spending in the March quarter was down on the December result of $72.6 million but that was to be expected. "That October, November and December time is always going to be our peak, with Christmas and the start of the school holidays.
"What is especially pleasing is that the increase has continued over the next three months."
Hastings shops selling clothing showed the biggest increase - up 48.5 per cent - with furniture and flooring stores just behind, with a 48.3 per cent increase.