Kiwis clutching their purse strings

Kiwis are keeping a close eye on their money in the lead-up to Christmas.
Photo / Thinkstock
Kiwis are keeping a close eye on their money in the lead-up to Christmas. Photo / Thinkstock

Kiwis are keeping a close eye on their money in the lead-up to Christmas, according to latest spending figures.

Figures released by Paymark show that while the build up to Christmas did begin last month, it was a "slight intermission breaking up the busy Rugby World Cup period and the pending Christmas rush''.

Paymark, which processes around 75 per cent of all electronic transactions in New Zealand, processed nearly 77 million transactions worth more than $3.9 billion across New Zealand last month, a 3.2 per cent increase on the year before.

Spokesman Phil Deason said that New Zealanders had kept a close watch on their outgoings over the past year and that appeared to still be the case before the busiest shopping time of the year.

"The pre-Christmas spend up typically begins mid-November and it has with spending in the last seven days of November up 9.3 per cent as compared to the first seven days of the month. However, the annual increase in value of 3.2 per cent for the month is slightly below the trend of recent months, Deason said in a statement.

"Although annual growth has been slow Christmas this year is still on track to be busier than last year and we are still planning for a very hectic last few days before Christmas Day.''

During the immediate post-Rugby World Cup period, annual growth rates slowed from double-digit levels amongst cafes/restaurants (up 6.5 per cent) and bars/clubs ( up 2.2 per cent).

Annual growth in the accommodation sector remained low, up only 0.5 per cent year on year.

Auckland/Northland remained amongst the fastest growing regions in terms of value ( up 4.8 per cent year on year) but the peak growth rate was recorded in South Canterbury ( up 7.6 per cent).

Spending was below year-ago levels in Wanganui ( down 1.9 per cent) and Canterbury ( down 0.6 per cent).

In terms of volume, transactions were below year-ago levels in six of the 17 regions and only two regions reached above 3.5 per cent annual growth - South Canterbury and Auckland/Northland with 5.4 per cent and 3.8 per cent growth respectively.

- APNZ

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