After leading the country in retail spending growth since last year Hawke's Bay has been overtaken by three other regions, according to Paymark figures for May.

In May the increase was 9.6 per cent compared with May 2015 for Hawke's Bay, behind Whanganui with 9.7 per cent, Bay of Plenty with 11.5 per cent and West Coast with 15 per cent. The national increase was 7.5 per cent.

In May the busiest hour nationally was Saturday between noon and 1pm, the quietest hour was Monday 3am to 4am.

Paymark accounts for 75 per cent of the country's Eftpos terminals and in December, January, February and over Easter Hawke's Bay topped the country for increased year-on-year growth in retail spending.


May this year had an extra weekday compared with 2015, helping boost non-retailers. Doctors were up 11 per cent, beauty and hairdressing salons up 11.8 per cent and plumbing services 10.4 per cent. Automotive merchants such as automotive repairs and services were stronger with 14.6 per cent and rental cars 14 per cent.

Hawke's Bay's slip from the lead reflects other regions' growth rather than Hawke's Bay decline. In the ASB/Main Report Regional Economic Scoreboard for the March quarter Hawke's Bay moved from sixth in the previous quarter to 10th but the report said the region kept its four-star rating "reflecting our optimism for tourism, horticulture and viticulture in the region".

The scoreboard ranks the performance of New Zealand's 16 regional council areas based on measures such as employment, construction, retail trade and house prices but some Hawke's Bay statistics are combined with Gisborne.