The Bay economy is bouncing back.

Over the past week the Bay of Plenty Times has had a number of stories that point to a strong recovery.

The Bay led the nation in spending growth last month with almost $271 million spent - a 10.2 per cent increase on last year.

The volume of transactions in the Bay was also the highest nationwide last month with 5.51 million electronic transactions - a 10.4 per cent increase on May 2013.


Accommodation providers are also enjoying a lift in trade as the number of guest nights continue to rise.

The Bay of Plenty (including Rotorua) saw 297 guest nights during April, up almost 20 per cent compared to April last year - the third highest increase in the country.

This week we also reported on plans for a medium-rise commercial and apartment development with the potential to transform Papamoa's traditional beachfront hub.

Sunshine Paradise is proposed to be built on the 7350sq m section on the corner of Papamoa Beach Rd and Domain Rd, with the design team looking to imitate the relaxed cafe and shopping atmosphere of Mount Maunganui Main Beach's Twin Towers.

The four-level development is being touted as the biggest signal since the market collapsed six years ago that confidence is returning to Tauranga's apartment and townhouse sector.

The confidence creeping back into the property market has been further highlighted by news that Western Bay property values continue to climb.

Tauranga recorded a 5.1 per cent rise in the year to May to an average value of $450,614, according to state valuer Quotable Value.

Western Bay recorded a bigger jump at 8.2 per cent to an average value of $417,637.

To top it off, according to the latest ANZ Regional Trends report, economic activity in the Bay increased 1.8 per cent for the quarter ending March 2014 - the second highest rise in the country behind Northland, at 3.4 per cent.

This is fantastic news for the business sector and should help drive confidence and employment in the region.

Hopefully Bay businesses that showed dogged determination during the recession are now being rewarded.