Kiwis' spending more this Christmas
Spending in the lead-up to Christmas is well up on last year, with Kiwis spending almost $150 million more through the Paymark network in the past 21 days.
Paymark, which processes more than three-quarters of all electronic transactions in retail, said shoppers put just over $3.2 billion through its network from November 30 to yesterday – 4.7 per cent or $148.7m more than in the same period last year.
Spending in the last seven days was up 5.8 per cent on the same period last year, said Paymark chief executive Simon Tong.
‘‘This makes it one of the highest spending weeks of the year and yesterday we broke through four million transactions in one day for only the sixth time in our history.’’
Spending growth was strongest in housing-related retail, with shopping at floor-covering and furniture stores up nearly 21 per cent year on year, while garden stores and hardware stores each saw growth of about 10 per cent.
Regions seeing the biggest shopping increases for the month were Canterbury – up 6.4 per cent or about $23m, followed by South Canterbury and Wairarapa – both up 5.4 per cent, and Hawke’s Bay – up 5.3 per cent.
Spending in Auckland and Northland increased 5.2 per cent or $65.9m.
Tong said it was heartening to see the annual year-on-year spending growth rate build through this month to above the average for the year, which was about three per cent.
Kiwis may need to loosen their belt notches this Christmas, he said, with spending at restaurants, cafes and bars up 7.3 per cent year-on-year and spending at takeaway shops and liquor retailers up 6.5 per cent and 11.5 per cent respectively.