Spending is up in the Bay of Plenty and Rotorua retailers are feeling confident.
According to Paymark figures released this week the region's spend was up 5.6 per cent in January 2018 compared to January 2017, with $369.9 million worth of transactions.
There was a total of 7.91 million transactions, up 7.5 per cent from the same period.
Pukeroa Oruawhata general manager Peter Faulkner said there was not a high level of detail in the figures but anecdotally, in the lead-up and after Christmas, retailers in Rotorua Central Mall and Trade Central had been steady with a good level of sales.
"Outdoor-oriented stuff has been doing particularly well because of the weather."
He said whether the increase came from locals or the high number of visitors there was a degree of confidence among the community.
"If the town is visibly seen as progressing and prospering, then that's got to help.
"The decline in vacancy is a significant and substantial one and there are some interest shops coming into Rotorua."
Inner City Focus Group spokesman Mike Steiner said it was all good news.
"I think everybody is very happy with growth.
"The remarkable thing is the economy is now generally moving forwards, we've created an arena here that's attractive, appealing, people are friendly and feel safe.
"Empty shops are no longer an issue and the proof of that is in the pudding."
He said while not every business has had a chance to prosper from that growth, "by and large the majority definitely had".
"We just have to revel in it.
"The challenge is for those businesses to step up and move forward."
He said the growth was visible in areas like Fairy Springs Rd, Trade Central, The Redwoods Centre and Lynmore Junction.
"As a regional and provincial centre we are becoming well noticed.
"We regularly get contacted from out of the area, asking how we turned it around from where we were four years ago."
Spending nationally through Paymark totalled $5.014m in January.
The figures showed Auckland remained one of the slower growing regions in terms of spending with the smaller regions leading the way.
The 3.9 per cent growth rate between January 2017 and January 2018 was similar to the 3.6 per cent growth rate averaged in the second half of 2017 and below the 5.2 per cent first half 2017 average.
However, underlying spending growth in the rest of New Zealand went from 6 per cent in first half 2017 to 6.2 per cent in the second half and maintained that 6.2 per cent in January 2018.
The number of payments made with the traditional Eftpos card through Paymark remained high at 64.3 million in January 2017.