Cantabs splash out ahead of Christmas

The festive spirit has taken hold with Cantabrians each spending about $39 more in the first two weeks of December than they did at the same time last year.

Cantabrians are keeping their place near the front of the pack when it comes to the rate of the increased spending.

The latest Paymark data shows that Cantabrians spent $260.4 million in the first two weeks of this month - $21.2m more, or 8.9 per cent higher, than in the first two weeks of December last year.

The increased spending marks about $39 more for each person in the region, given Canterbury's population of almost 540,000.

The 8.9 per cent increase remains ahead of national spending increases of 7.7 per cent.

Paymark, which processes about three-quarters of all electronic transactions in New Zealand, had more than $2.2 billion pass through its network in the first 14 days of December.

Paymark head of customer relations Mark Spicer said that Friday brought out the masses this year with December 13 recorded as the busiest shopping day of the month and second-busiest of the year so far.

He expected spending to continue growing in the next week as Kiwis counted down the days to Christmas.

Those reaping the benefits of the Christmas buildup included accommodation providers (up 11 per cent), restaurants, bars and cafes (+10 per cent), liquor stores (+10 per cent) and takeaway outlets (+10 per cent).

Spicer said New Zealanders were also splashing out on electronic goods and home DIY goods, with hardware and building supply outlets up 12 per cent.

The Press