It was declared the nation's most beautiful city in 2015 and the positive vibe has continued right through to this year.

Now for the first time, Hastings retail spending has topped $70 million over three months, outside of Christmas shopping periods.

The latest MarketView report, released on Friday, showed the total retail spend in Hastings central city for the three months to June 30 reached $70.098m.

It was up $4m on the previous three months and up just over $4m on the same period last year.

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Hastings District Council's economic development and urban affairs committee chairman, Damon Harvey, said it was an excellent result.

"This is traditionally a quieter time of year given the cooler weather, however we are still going really well.

"As well as local spending being up, which is an indicator of a healthy economy and people's confidence in our region, we have increased spending by visitors at a time when we don't have a huge number of events bringing them here."

Harvey put the spend down to an increase of tourism and population growth.

"I really do think this is a reflection of the excellent work over the last years that has gone into attracting visitors to our region – whether to events or just to enjoy our stunning district.

"Now they are returning and bringing their friends, and a great number of them are moving here and making Hawke's Bay their home."

The biggest national-level event held in the region within the three months was the Air NZ Hawke's Bay Marathon.

The report showed retail spending in both Hastings and Havelock North had outstripped national growth figures.

In Havelock North retail spending in the three months to June 30 this year was up 7.8 per cent on the same three months last year.

In Hastings, the increase over the same period was 5.2 per cent. The national growth rate was measured at 4.9 per cent.

Locals and visitors alike contributed to the increase. In Hastings spending by residents was up almost 6 per cent and spending by visitors from Napier and Central Hawke's Bay grew 11.5 per cent.

Spending by visitors from outside the region leapt by 15.4 per cent, and international visitor spending was up 9 per cent.

In Havelock North spending by local cardholders was up 8.6 per cent, Napier cardholders up 6 per cent, Central Hawke's Bay cardholders up 20 per cent, and international visitors up almost 64 per cent.

The highest quarterly figures over the past three years were for the periods ending December 2017, with $81.2m, and December 2016, with $75.4m.