Christmas spending rises 6pc on last year
@devlincolle: Southlanders have enjoyed a solid three weeks of Christmas shopping and are continuing to spend more than they did this time last year.
Figures issued yesterday by Paymark, which processes most of New Zealand's electronic transactions, show that from December 1 to 21 spending in the region was up 6.1 per cent on last year.
During the first three weeks of December this year, Southlanders spent $86.5 million compared to $81.5m in 2012.
Nationally, last Friday was the busiest day of the year to date, with $235.6m through the tills, up 5.7 per cent on the same day last year.
Paymark head of sales and marketing Paul Whiston said the third week of December had seen the Christmas rush continue in Southland and last Friday saw the usual pre-Christmas jump.
The strong trend in spending was positive for the region, he said.
The growth rates for December 2013 had been the highest experienced around the country in several years.
"With a couple of shopping days still to go before Christmas, as well as the Boxing Day sales, we're anticipating that December will be a strong month for many retailers," Mr Whiston said. The figures reflect better planning this year to get shopping done earlier.
Previous Paymark figures for Southland showed $54.2m was spent during the first two weeks of December in the region this year compared with $50.5m during the same time last year.
This follows the trend of an increase of year-on-year spending, during October ($93.2m last year to $100.9m this year) and November ($98.4m last year to $105.1m in 2013).
Paymark figures saw national growth momentum sustained across various sectors including, in Southland: Accommodation (+11.9 per cent), restaurants, bars and cafes (+10.4 per cent), food takeaways (+10.4 per cent) and hardware/building supplies (+10.1 per cent).
"Conversely, internet spending may be impacting some sectors, such as clothing retailers and book shops, which are showing low growth or falling sales," Mr Whiston said.
The spending figures for the Christmas period suggested people would be well groomed, well catered for, and under the tree might be some new shoes, a new pet, some jewellery, some electronic gadgetry and something for around the home, he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News