The local retail sector is smiling sweetly after Bay of Plenty shoppers went on a spending spree last month.
Latest figures show a whopping $231 million was swiped through eftpos or credit card terminals in the region during August.
Locals spent 8.5 million more last month than in August 2011.
The figures were released yesterday by Paymark, the country's largest processor of retail electronic transactions.
In the Bay of Plenty, eftpos cards and credit cards were swiped 4.7 million times last month.
This saw the region gain the title of the fifth highest number of electronic transactions in August _ behind Auckland/Northland (31 million), Wellington (8.7 million), Canterbury (8.6 million) and Waikato (5.7 million).
Across the country, $3,789 million was spent last month. This was 15 per cent higher than the total amount spent in August 2011, of $3,593 million.
Paymark CEO, Simon Tong, said the figures showed a bounce back in national spending.
He said the recovery was "a step in the right direction'' after a tough winter for retailers.
"It's encouraging to see spending on the rise again,'' he said.
"Overall it's been a quiet winter, with the spending growth rate between June and August sitting at a modest 3.8 per cent.''
Stores linked to the building industry showed strong growth, with spending up almost 10 per cent in hardware stores on the same time last year.
The amount spent at cafes and restaurants was up about 9 per cent on August last year.
Mr Tong said this was pleasing as the sector saw a drop in spending in July.
Nationally, the amount spent on footwear was up seven per cent and the amount spent on clothing was up five per cent.