Bay of Plenty shoppers spent $317.2 million last month - 7.1 per cent more than what was spent the same time last year, according to Paymark.
The Bay had the second highest spending growth in the country, behind the West Coast on 8.6 per cent, and ahead of Whanganui which was up 6.8 per cent.
The volume of Eftpos card transactions in the Bay of Plenty region last month was also up by 7 per cent.
David Hill, centre manager at Papamoa Plaza, said July was an outstanding month in terms of turnover at the plaza with trading figures continuing to be hit double digits.
Mr Hill said Papamoa Plaza was continuing to ride a retail high on the back of strong economic and surging population growth, and growing business confidence.
Three more tenants - Flight Centre, 2degrees, and Porcelain Skin Care - were due to move into the plaza by the end of the year, taking occupancy to 46, he said.
Mr Hill said next month he would reveal the names of the final two permanent tenants also setting up shop in the plaza by the end of the year.
Bayfair centre manager Steve Ellingford said Bayfair has always been a strong retail performer for a number of years and from anecdotal reports he expected that to be reflected in the latest trading figures.
Mount Mainstreet manager Ingrid Fleming said with more than 220 businesses in the shopping precinct it was impossible to survey every business about trading figures.
Ms Fleming said winter was traditionally a quieter trading period for many retailers.
"But the Mount Mainstreet precinct which offers shoppers a unique boutique shopping experience, including some upmarket alfresco eateries, is continuing to pull people in."
Mainstreet Tauranga spokeswoman Sally Cooke said she welcomed the data as it hopefully meant many city centre businesses were also enjoying a surge in their trading figures.
"It's the primary focus for Mainstreet to increase the amount of foot traffic in downtown Tauranga and we hope this level of growth continues... Bring it on," she said.
According to Paymark, overall spending at bars, clubs and cafes decreased to 6.4 per cent last month post the Lions Tour - the lowest growth result since February 2013.
The accommodation sector growth rate also dropped from 15.4 per cent in June to 8.4 per cent in July, the lowest growth since March 2014.
Takara Japanese Restaurant owners Inhey Kim and his wife Rachel have operated their downtown Tauranga business for six years, including four years on The Strand.
Mr Kim, who described last month's trading figures as "steady", said he often read about Paymark's growth figures, and how lots more people were moving to Tauranga.
But shopper demographics and the trading environment in which they operated had significantly changed in the past few years, he said.
Mr Kim said there were many more dining choices for shoppers and downtown businesses also had to compete with the Mount, Papamoa, Bayfair and The Lakes.
"Don't get me wrong, I think competition is good and healthy but during the winter months we have to work harder to attract new customers so we can grow our business."
Paymark data July 2017 compared to July 2016
Top five spending growth regions:
West Coast: $27.8m, up 8.6 per cent
Bay of Plenty: $317.2m, up 7.1 per cent
Whanganui: $47.9m, up 6.8 per cent
Marlborough: $50.4m, up 6.7 per cent
Hawkes Bay: $132.4m, up 6.5 per cent
New Zealand : $4.873bn, up 3.6 per cent