Warrnambool's economy has rocketed to a record high with spending in the city hitting $936 million last financial year.
Council's chief executive Peter Schneider shared the impressive figure at a meeting for business people on Wednesday.
It was part of economic overview provided by Mr Schneider and city growth director Andrew Paton at the Club Connect networking event on Wednesday night.
"We've come out of a couple of year period that's had a lot of uncertainty and we're recovering really well," Mr Schneider said.
He said Warrnambool had a track record of sustained and steady population growth. In the past 20 years the city increased by 6239 people which is a one per cent average annual growth rate and an average year on year increase of 310 people.
The Great South Coast region's six local government areas have a population of 127,500 - an increase of 3300 people over the past decade at a 0.3 per cent average annual growth rate.
Warrnambool's population grew to 35,419 and boasts an unemployment rate of 0.9 per cent, the lowest in Victoria.
He said the city was "booming" with large spending increases over recent years in dining and entertainment, bulky goods, transport, department stores and clothing and specialised food retailing sectors.
This has led to strong year on year growth in total local spend with $936 million spent in the 2021-22 financial year. This was a $45 million increase on the previous year's spend of $891 million, compared with $778 million (2019-20) and $738 million (2018-19).
There's been record levels of residential and non-residential building activity, with a "strong investment pipeline" of about $650 million in major projects over the next five to six years, headlined by the $384 million Warrnambool hospital stage two redevelopment.
In 2020-21 there were 407 new dwellings under construction or completed, which was double the previous year's figure of 204 new dwellings and double the city's 10-year building activity average. Of those, 20 per cent were townhouses, units and apartments.
"It's pretty unique for Warrnambool," Mr Paton said. "Usually we don't get that level of interest so that's clearly a market response. We're expecting to see more of that because people want choice."
Mr Paton said while there were challenges around cost of living, inflation and housing, the snapshot "was a collective story that we have very good reason to be optimistic and confident".
"We're also seeing our major employers investing and that's comforting," Mr Paton said. "There's also a lot of external interest investment coming into the city. A lot of our wonderful community based organisations are doing great things to improve their facilities as well."
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