There are more personal and commercial vehicles on Tauranga roads than ever before - and city leaders say this is a reflection of Tauranga's growing economy and population.

According to the latest Infometrics Quarterly Economic Monitor Report, provided by Priority One, Tauranga's economy was continuing to flourish.

The report showed a range of positive changes for the city including an increase in Gross domestic product (GDP), a drop in unemployment and a rise in retail trade and tourism spending.

A total of 8069 cars were registered in Tauranga City in the year to June 2018, a 3.9 per cent increase compared with the 7769 registered in the previous 12 months.


The number of commercial vehicles registered in Tauranga City also increased by 4.1 per cent in the year to June 2018, with 1797 registrations compared with 1727 the year before.

Tony Hammond, of Tony Hammond Motors, said the increase in car registrations was on par with what the car sales company was experiencing.

In the month of August Hammond had seen a "spike" in people purchasing vehicles, which he put down to people having extra surplus money to upgrade their cars, and the weather.

Hammond said he had a range of customers from those who would purchase a car through no-deposit finance to retirees who may have downsized their property and had the surplus cash to buy a car outright.

"It's 50/50," he said.

Hammond had been in the car sales industry for 30 years and was expanding his Cameron Rd location. His car lot would grow a further three blocks and was set to be complete in a few months' time.

Priority One projects manager, Annie Hill, said the increase in car registrations came down to the strong economy as well as population growth.

Hill said buying new vehicles, both commercial and domestic, was one of the largest purchases a business or individual would make.


"The fact that there has been such growth in new vehicle registrations means that businesses are sufficiently confident of their future that they are making these investments."

Hill said the increase in car registrations meant individuals had enough confidence in their financial future that they were able to make a large purchase.

However, with the increase in car registrations in the region it was no surprise there was an increase in traffic.

The report showed traffic flows in Tauranga City had increased by 3.9 per cent over the year to June 2018, which was higher than the national increase of 3.1 per cent.

The report also showed Tauranga City's annual GDP, sitting at nearly $5.6 billion, continued to grow with a 3.9 per cent increase for the year to June 2018 compared with the year earlier.

Hill said there was a range of factors that contributed to the GDP growth including strong port activity.

She said Tauranga had a competitive advantage which was attracting a lot of new businesses and skilled people.

There was strong growth in the horticulture and construction sectors, particularly within the kiwifruit industry and commercial projects within construction, Hill said.

"Infometrics notes that the growth is broad-based and across all indicators of spending and investment."

Hill said unemployment in the region was very low, 4.1 per cent, which indicated that households were confident in their employment and financial position.

She said this was reflected in the increase in retail activity of 5 per cent, which was higher than the national average.

Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive, Stan Gregec, said the Bay of Plenty was simply a region where so many fundamentals stacked up.

"Great climate, location, port, transport infrastructure, and still more affordable than Auckland," Gregec said.

He said Tauranga's economy was "humming".

"We're seeing strong activity in commercial construction, which shows that investors have confidence to commit to new buildings, plant and equipment.

"So it all adds up to a very buoyant picture – a good time to be in business in Tauranga."