Kiwis spend more in December

LAURA WALTERS
Last updated 15:00 16/12/2013

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New Zealanders are getting stuck into Christmas shopping with more than $2.2 billion spent in the first two weeks of December, electronic payment processor Paymark says.

Figures released today by the bank-owned eftpos operator showed spending for the first two weeks of December was up 7.7 per cent on the same time last year.

This is higher than the 5.7 per cent average spending increase seen during the first 11 months of the year.

Paymark head of customer relations Mark Spicer said the shoppers came out on Friday.

December 13 was recorded as the busiest shopping day of the month and second-busiest this year with 3.6 million transactions worth more than $187 million processed, Spicer said.

"Past trends indicate that we can expect spending to continue this growth pattern in the next week as Kiwis count down the days to Christmas," he said.

Palmerston North and Marlborough recorded spending growth of 9.5 per cent compared to last year, with Canterbury, Auckland/Northland, Taranaki, Otago and Southland also showing strong growth in the leadup to Christmas, the figures showed.

Accommodation providers experienced 11.7 per cent spending growth compared to last year.

New Zealanders were also spending at restaurants, bars and cafes, liquor retailers, and takeaway restaurants.

Shoppers continued to splash out on home DIY goods, with hardware and building supply outlets up 12 per cent, Spicer said.

Electronics retailers also showed strong gains during the two-week period, up 9.1 per cent.

Spicer said spending on electronics was possibly buoyed by the recent launch of gaming consoles and the strong New Zealand dollar affecting electronic goods prices.

While total spending was up, growth in some regions and sectors remained modest, he said.

Spending in the West Coast region was up 0.6 per cent.

Wellington also experienced modest growth of 3.9 per cent along with Wairarapa at 3.6 per cent and Wanganui 3.5 per cent .

Spending on clothing and apparel was up 4.5 per cent and floor coverings and furniture was up 3.6 per cent.

Spending in the automotive sector and at bookshops and video stores declined.

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- Fairfax Media

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