The rate of building approvals continues to improve in the Cairns region.

That's the simple, positive message from economist Pete Faulkner from Conus, who crunched the local numbers released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics yesterday.

Conus analysis of building approvals showed that Cairns trend approvals lifted to 75, while the December figures were revised up from 70 to 74. While that is significantly down from the pre-GFC peaks, local building approvals have been steadily increasing over the past 12 months.

The latest results represent an 8.2% increase over the past year.

"The ABS supplemented last week's national and state residential building approvals data with their original (unadjusted) regional data and when seen through the lens of the Conus Trend, the data confirms the ongoing improvement in building approvals underway in the North," Mr Faulkner said.

"The ABS original data at the Local Government Area levels, when seen by way of the Conus Trend, showed Cairns Regional Council (including Douglas Shire) unchanged at 56, Cassowary Coast Regional Council also unchanged at 6 and the Tablelands Regional Council (including Mareeba) likewise unchanged at 14.

"All of these Local Government Areas saw upward revisions to their December Trends."

The Far North figures were stronger than the Australian and Queensland trends during the same period.