Spending over the Christmas holiday period has continued into January with the latest Paymark figures for the month showing underlying growth of six per cent, boosted by accommodation, food and beverage and entertaiment.

More than $4.5 billion worth of transactions were completed in January from 94.7 million transactions.

Data from the company showed spending was up particularly in the regions with Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Marlborough and Otago all reporting solid numbers. Chief marketing officer Tim McFarlane said the figures suggested the regions were benefitting from holiday visitors and said the results were in line with expectations over the summer months.

"After Christmas, spending is usually somewhat lower although January traditionally sees an increase in Accommodation," McFarlane said.

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January spending:
• Accommodation up 30%
• Food and Beverage services up 24%
• Entertainment (including movies) up 20%
• Bay of Plenty had the highest growth of 8.9%
• West Coast was the only region to decline, dropping by 5.2%