Tourists and locals in the Wairarapa region spent more than $40 million last month - a 2.7 per cent increase on the same month last year.

A business leader says the new Paymark figures show consumer confidence in the region is continuing to grow.

According to the electronic payment provider, there were 0.93 million transactions made last month. This was a 4.6 per cent increase from the same month in the previous year. In total, people spent $40.7 million in January this year.

Stephanie Gundersen-Reid, Chamber of Commerce chief executive, said there seemed to be a big focus on buying local produce and goods.


"People seem to be very buoyant at the moment. There is still an element of care being taken with the discretionary dollar [but] people seem to be buying local, which is great, and they are spending.

"We have also had visitors over the summer months, thanks to our beautiful region and some fantastic events, which I am sure always helps."

She said there was an air of optimism in the community and business is busier than usual - which she observed with other Chamber members - and hoped it would continue.

Paymark chief marketing officer Tim McFarlane says the figures were in line with expectations for the summer months.

"After Christmas, spending is usually somewhat lower although January traditionally sees an increase in accommodation."

This year, accommodation was up 30 per cent, food and beverage services were up 24 per cent and entertainment - including movies - were up 20 per cent.

January carried on where December spending left off, with an annual underlying Paymark growth rate of 6 per cent - similar to the 5.9 per cent average for 2015.

Paymark seamlessly switched a little over 1.106 billion transactions last year, roughly 60 transactions a second on average. 73 per cent of these transactions were for debit cards and 27 per cent for credit cards. In value terms, $53.3 billion worth of goods and services were paid for through the Paymark network.