Eftpos firm Paymark has reported the fastest growth in transaction volume in six years with Bay of Plenty, Canterbury and Waikato leading the way. On top of this there is a growing trend towards the use of "contactless" cards.
Paymark processed almost 90 million sales on its network last month, up 8.7 per cent year on year, with the value of sales up 8.3 per cent to $4.37 billion.
The biggest jump was in the first seven days of the month, where spending was up 9.1 per cent across the country compared with the same week last year.
Paymark spokesman Mark Spicer said there were several factors behind the growth, such as a 3.5 per cent increase in the number of merchants using Paymark's network, year on year.
"In terms of other factors that might play a part in the strong spending data, May also had five Saturdays this year, whereas last year there were only four," he said.
Spicer said the rise of contactless cards continued to make its effects felt in Paymark's data, contributing to credit card spending outstripping debit cards. This was likely to continue.
Trading was strong for those operating in the hospitality sector, with a 14 per cent increase in spending year on year.
Food and liquor stores recorded an increase of 12.3 per cent in spending from the same month last year.
There was modest spending growth among department stores (4.6 per cent), appliance retailers (3.6 per cent) and clothing shops (2.7 per cent) compared with 2013, whereas spending continued to decline in the book, stationery and video sector (-3.4 per cent).
Spending growth was most marked in Bay of Plenty (10.2 per cent), Canterbury (8.6 per cent) and Waikato (8.5 per cent).
Growth was slow in Wellington (3 per cent) and the West Coast (1.8 per cent). Fairfax NZ