Cantabrians continue to shop
Paymark figures released today show Cantabrians increased their card spending faster than shoppers in other parts of the country last month, compared to January last year.
Spending across the electronic transactions provider's network in Canterbury last month increased by 8 per cent, or $32.2 million from the same month a year ago, to reach $435.4 million.
Nationally the total value of transactions through the Paymark network, which processes three quarters of all electronic transactions in New Zealand, increased by $191 million, an increase of 5.1 per cent year-on-year.
Paymark chief executive Simon Tong said the spending momentum of the last quarter of last year had extended beyond the busy shopping season.
The value of spending through the Paymark network increased by a seasonally adjusted 0.6 per cent from December to January, the fourth consecutive monthly gain.
''Despite the positive national figures, we're aware that it's still tough out there for some retailers, and in some regions.
''A number of sectors such as accommodation providers and consumer electronics retailers have experienced below average growth. Likewise, spending growth was weak in the West Coast and Southland.''
Nationally, building sector-related spending continued to see strong growth. Plumbing outlets (17.8%), and hardware and home decorating stores (11.6%) saw double digit lifts, while gardening stores (7.6%) and wholesale building suppliers (7%) were also up on the same time last year.
There was consistent growth across the health sector.
Dentists (17.2%), medical centres (10.1%), optometrists (9.1%) and pharmacies (6.3%) all saw spending increases.
The automotive sector saw growth in both repairs and servicing (14%) and parts and accessories (9.7%).
Regionally, Waikato recorded second-fastest growth (7.6%), followed by Wairarapa (5.6%).
Nationwide in 2012, card spending increased by $1.5 billion and the volume of card transactions was 6.3 per cent higher than a year ago, with credit card value (6.4%) increasing faster than debit card value (6.2%).