Retail sales in Hawke's Bay are growing faster than any other region of New Zealand, following a massive $51 million year-on-year rise in consumer spending over the latest three month period.
Statistics NZ's new Retail Trade Survey, which now published retail sales data for each of New Zealand's 16 regions, shows that for the three month ending in September, sales here rose by $51 million from the same time last year.
The corresponding 8.5 per cent rise was the largest rise in New Zealand.
The region also experienced a seasonally-adjusted increase of $13m for the September quarter.
Hastings City Business Association general manager Susan McDade said the figures reflected what city centre retailers were reporting.
"We are pleased to see yet another rise in the retail spend for the last quarter reflecting the increased consumer confidence and stronger retail mix in Hastings especially in homewares and big box retail.
"Our retailers are reporting strong sales moving into the important Christmas season and hope to continue the trend.
The new figures also year-on-year sales have grown in each quarter on the year to-date.
During the first nine months of the year, retail sales have risen by $2m.
Napier Inner City Inc., general manager Zoe Barnes said the city was now a "big player", attracting more consumers from the major centres.
"On top of the 19 percent increase from international cardholders we have also seen a huge 47 per cent increase in spend from Auckland cardholders (from Paymark data) which goes to show Hawke's Bay is becoming a big player on both the international and domestic tourist to-do list.
"Hawke's Bay has a growing calendar of events and sporting competitions which brings both locals and tourists out during the colder months and keeps the local economy going. It helps we have some of the best stable weather in the country which is always attractive to visitors."
Retailers had also benefited from increasing overall tourism to the city.
"For the quarter ending September 2017, Napier recorded a 9 percent increase in accommodation spend and an 8 percent increase in hospitality, with similar numbers in all other categories. We can also see 19 percent increase in international cardholder spend which might explain that accommodation uplift which is fantastic and has been an ongoing trend all year.
"These numbers would lead me to believe that for Napier, the uplift can be attributed in most part to an increase in tourism spend (both international and domestic travellers) in the area, the change of which can also be seen on the footpath with more people in town on any given day.
"We think we are in for a busy summer season so long may these numbers continue."