Retail, Innovation and Manufacturing reporter for the NZ Herald

Kiwis spend $6 billion on transactions in December

Kiwis spent up large this Christmas according to electronic payments company Paymark. Photo/Dean Purcell
Kiwis spent up large this Christmas according to electronic payments company Paymark. Photo/Dean Purcell

Kiwis spent up large this Christmas with almost $6 billion in card transactions for December.

The latest data from electronic payments company Paymark showed a 6.6 per cent increase in spending for the month on last year.

"The spending momentum of the last four years was maintained through the busy pre-Christmas period of 2016," Paymark said.

"The value of transactions for the month totalled $5,936.8 million."

Growth in spending was highest in the regions, rather than major cities suggesting more time was spent at baches and beaches this Christmas.

The highest growth was recorded in the Hawke's Bay which was up 10.9 per cent for the month.

This was boosted by accommodation, up 20.8 per cent, food and beverage, up 16.1 per cent and furniture and hardware, up 18.4 per cent.

Highest spend overall for December was in the Auckland Northland region with $2.4b.

The Marlborough region which includes Kaikoura reported a decline in transactions, down one per cent - the only region to report a drop for the month.

Accommodation spend in Marlborough dropped 13.1 per cent.

As usual, spending was highest on Eftpos/debit cards with more than $3.1b spent compared with credit cards - more than $2.8b.

Overall in 2016, Paymark processed 1.2 billion transactions for $57.4 billion worth of goods and services.

This translates to an average of 255 transactions and $12,230 spending per person.

Accommodation was the highest growth sector overall, up 18.5 per cent for the year, followed by non-retail and food and beverage - both up 14.3 per cent.

The downward fuel spending trend did reverse in the last four months of 2016, implying lower than otherwise discretionary budget for other items.
Paymark

In terms of spending in 2016, "Supermarkets and grocery stores", "Food and beverage services" and "Fuel retailing" were the largest sectors.

A large number of transactions were also processed through non-retailers such as plumbers, auto repair shops, travel and tourism operators, government organisations and providers of health, telecommunication and financial services.

Looking ahead, Paymark noted several trends to keep an eye on in the coming year.

"The downward fuel spending trend did reverse in the last four months of 2016, implying lower than otherwise discretionary budget for other items," Paymark said.

"Spending within the housing-related "Furniture, floor coverings, houseware, hardware, building, gardening supplies" sector declined slightly in both the third and fourth quarters - a trend to watch in 2017."

- NZ Herald

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