This year looks set to be another good year for the Rotorua district, according to the Rotorua Lakes Council and local industry commentators.
Mayor Steve Chadwick has reinforced the need for ongoing investment in the district's infrastructure and the future planning currently under way.
"Rotorua is changing, growing and progressing and that has brought new challenges, increasing pressure on infrastructure like roading networks, public amenities, public facilities and housing," she said.
According to the Infometrics Quarterly Economic Monitor for Rotorua for the March 2017 quarter, the district's economy has continued to perform well with strength in a range of economic indicators contributing to a provisional GDP growth estimate of 3.1 per cent in the year to March 2017.
Rotorua's GDP growth compares to 3.4 per cent growth for the Bay of Plenty region (including Rotorua) and is slightly higher than the national estimated growth of 2.9 per cent.
"We also need to future-proof our infrastructure with long-term solutions now," Mrs Chadwick said.
"That will require assistance from central government and we continue to lobby for ongoing investment in our district.
"All up, 2017 looks likely to be another good year for the district," she said.
The report pointed out accommodation and food services sectors were expected to benefit from an ongoing influx of tourists particularly next month when the British & Irish Lions play the Maori All Blacks in Rotorua.
"Confidence about the prospects for tourism is certainly illustrated by the current refurbishment of the former Zen Centre into a five-star hotel to be run by Accor," the report says.
"A positive outlook for forestry and associated wood product processing also bodes well for the district."
Rotorua Chamber of Commerce president John McRae said Rotorua's focus on growth was consistent with the data released "as our businesses are feeling confidence across the board and have the desire to invest more capital on to the regional economy".
"I know from some work I'm doing at Deloitte we are getting much more inquiries to invest locally.
"A year or so ago a lot of our clients were looking to invest outside of Rotorua into Auckland, shares, or offshore.
"Lately they have shown the confidence to invest in projects here and a lot of this is being driven by the Maori economy.
"Even though our unemployment rate is still high, it has been dropping.
"But, our mix of labour is probably skewed toward unskilled labour, with Chamber members struggling to find good talent for professional roles."
Mr McRae said you could look around and see the city was on the move with more traffic on the roads, people on the streets and "shopping malls full with lots of cars circulating around looking for parking".
"The report does validate what we are seeing in the community, lots of action and growth and our future is very strong.
"So, it's very important we keep investing in our infrastructure."
Inner City Focus Group spokesman Mike Steiner said it was a healthy situation for Rotorua.
"We have seen this in the number of new retailers and national chains opening up here recently."
But, Mr Steiner said this quarter had been quiet in the retail sector.
"And it's the same for lots of retailers across the country.
"Retails does have its up and downs, but it's pleasing we are just above the national average.
"I would not say we were overly optimistic or confident in the sector, but we are moving ahead and can see some growth."
In terms of the housing market, Professionals McDowell Real Estate director Steve Lovegrove said the primary factor affecting residential consent numbers could "almost solely be attributed to the severe lack of available residential sections".
"However, with the house prices now catching up and closing the gap between Rotorua and other centres, albeit that we still have a way to go, the probability of more residential development becoming a viable option for developers is now looking more likely.
"I believe if we are to sustain growth and attract continued population increase, then more modern urban development will be what is required."
But, Mr Lovegrove said there was a lot of encouragement to be taken from the non-residential consent numbers that saw consents up 14 per cent against an average of 11 per cent nationally.
"Confidence in the commercial sector is really starting to emerge and if this continues in unison with urban developments, then Rotorua is poised for a very bright future as a desirable lifestyle choice for those migrating out from the bigger cities."