The onset of the silly season has seen Kiwi spending lift in November, with more of us eating out and buying booze, electronic transactions network Paymark has reported.
Figures released by Paymark show the value of transactions in November was up 4.6 per cent on November last year. Paymark handles about 75 per cent of New Zealand's electronic transactions made with credit and eftpos cards.
November transactions were also up one per cent on October. The increase is in line with the traditional pre-Christmas bump.
The number of card transactions was 5.1 per cent higher than a year ago. Debit card use increased slightly more than credit card use for the second month in a row, with a 5.2 per cent rise in transactions. Credit card transactions rose 4.9 per cent.
Paymark head of sales and marketing Paul Whitson said the last seven days of the month were up 10.4 per cent compared with the last seven days of October.
Spending at cafes and restaurants rose 9.3 per cent and 10 per cent compared with November 2011, which Paymark partially attributed to an additional Friday in November this year.
"This is an improvement on the weak annual growth rate," Whitson said.
Based on historic figures "the real rush is yet to come", he said.
Spending jumped on average 27 per cent from November to December between 2007 and 2011, Paymark said.
In the latest results, hardware store spending rose 10.4 per cent year-on-year. Other sectors recording rises were automotive outlets, up 7.9 per cent, and clothing shops – up 6.5 per cent.
"It's great to see Kiwis getting into the Christmas spirit and spending across a diverse range of sectors. We hope to see retailers reaping the benefits in the coming weeks," Whitson said.
Waikato saw the largest regional growth in spending, up 6.5 per cent on November last year. Canterbury also recorded an increase of 5.7 per cent and in the Auckland/Northland region spending rose 5.2 per cent.