Spending in the leadup to Christmas is $3 million up on last year in Nelson.
This month up to Thursday, $65.3m had been spent, a 4.8 per cent rise, according to Paymark, which processes more than three-quarters of all electronic transactions in retail.
That was slightly ahead of the 4.7 per cent national spending increase.
Cathy Madigan, manager of retail promotion group Uniquely Nelson, said it was great news, after being slightly below the national figure last month.
"It's been a late start but Christmas shopping is well and truly under way now," she said.
In past years Christmas shopping had begun in November but the figures showed it had kicked off this month and was looking like a bumper year, she said.
"I expect this to be a huge weekend. A lot of people have left it to the last minute."
Nationally spending this December is up almost $150m on last year to $3.28m.
Spending in the last seven days was up 5.8 per cent on the same period last year, said Paymark chief executive Simon Tong.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Should the Nelson City Council spend up to $500,000 to fix the modellers' pond at Tahunanui?Related story: (See story)