Data compiled by Marketview shows electronic card retail spending in the City increased by 3.5% in the three months ended July compared with the same period last year.
Retail spending nationally grew at a slower rate of 2.5% over the same period.
Locally, spending on big ticket items like furniture and floorcoverings increased by 14%.
Palmerston North Mayor Grant Smith says he's delighted at the confidence being expressed by consumers in the city.
"It also reflects all the hard work retailers are doing to attract customers, they're definitely open for business", he says.
New car registrations, a useful sign of business confidence, rose by 7% in the three months ended July, ahead of the national increase of 3%.
The overall rate of growth in New Zealand retail spending is tepid, reflecting the current weakness in retail prices. Statistics New Zealand has estimated that retail prices declined by 1.7% in the June quarter compared with the same period last year. The decline in prices was not just due to lower fuel prices, with eight of the fourteen retail sectors reporting declines in prices over the last year.
Supporting the stronger growth in retail spending in Palmerston North has been a big boost in visitor spending. Palmerston North had a 28% increase in spending in the accommodation sector in July, a 4% increase at bars/cafes/restaurants and a 14% increase at takeaways outlets.
Building consents data also confirms this confidence, with very strong growth in the number of consents issued for new housing in June and July.
"There are a lot of positive economic drivers happening at present and they're making the city a good place to invest in," Mr Smith says.
For more information contact:
Economic Policy Advisor
Palmerston North City Council