No slow-down in Christmas spending

Last updated 17:22 26/12/2013

BOXING DAY BOOM: Chaos reigned as shoppers hit the streets for bargains.

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Christmas shoppers rang up a record 148 purchases a second today in the rush to get their final gifts under the tree, electronic payment processor Paymark says.

Figures released today by the bank-owned eftpos operator showed shoppers the transaction rate peaked at 148 per second at 12:24pm today, compared with 132 transactions per second in 2012.

Paymark also recorded a 7.1 per cent increase for shopping on December 22 and December 23 compared to those days last year.

Paul Whiston, Paymark head of sales and marketing, said the final days of spending before Christmas continued a positive month of growth.

"Yesterday was recorded as the second highest spending day ever, with $235 million through the tills and was also 42.8 per cent up on the previous Monday," Whiston said.

Sporting goods and camping equipment outlets recorded particularly strong sales, up 109.9 per cent compared to the same day last week. Clothing and jewellery stores were up 78.6 per cent  on a week ago.

"Kiwis were also out gathering all the last minute essentials for their Christmas lunch, with food retailing up 81.8 per cent yesterday on the same day last week," Whiston said.

The top of the South Island recorded the biggest growth by value of spending on Sunday and yesterday with the Nelson region up 11.4 per cent to $8.3m and Marlborough close behind with 11.3 per cent to $5.1m.

Among the main regions, Waikato led the way with 7 per cent growth for a total value of $80m, followed by Auckland/Northland, up 6.7 per cent to $153.4m and Canterbury up 5.6 per cent to $44.9m.

But spending growth for Wellington was almost flat at $35.9 across the two days.

Last December card spending rose a seasonally adjusted 4.3 per cent compared to December 2011, according to Paymark.

However, Statistics NZ figures showed electronic card spending in December last year a much lower adjusted 0.3 per cent gain compared to the previous year.

Whiston said Paymark only gathered raw data and did not take into account inflation variations which Statistic NZ did.

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- Fairfax Media

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