New Zealanders strong Christmas retail spending on credit and debit cards has continued into January according to Paymark figures.

Paymark, which processes around 75 per cent of all electronic transactions in New Zealand, said that the total value of January spending through its network was up 7.9 per cent from 12 months ago.

But Paymark's head of customer relations, Mark Spicer has warned there are some mixed trends and also a hint that some of the momentum is waning.

"After a big finish in 2013, it's good to see that some regions and retailers are continuing to feel the momentum associated with the general economic recovery," Spicer said.

A more buoyant holiday mood and an increase in international tourist numbers pushed the year-on-year growth rate for accommodation and hospitality providers up to 12.8 per cent in January.


Food and beverage outlets also enjoyed continued spending growth with sales through Paymark up 8.4 per cent.

"The food and hospitality sectors in particular continue to experience strong spending growth but sectors including clothing and department stores, and regions like Wellington and Wanganui continue to lag," Spicer said.

Petrol stations, tyre companies and automotive parts shops enjoyed a strong summer, up 11.3 per cent, 8.9 per cent and 9.1 per cent respectively.

Housing-related spending growth remained high through furniture and homeware shops, up 10.9 per cent year-on-year.

But a hint of a change in this part of the retail sector can be seen from the annual growth in spending through hardware stores recording only 4.7 per cent, well below the annual growth rate averaged since early 2012 of 9.9 per cent.

Hotspots for growth in the total value of transactions included Marlborough, Palmerston North and Canterbury.

14 Jan, 2014 9:18am
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Regionally, Wellington and Wanganui experienced the slowest growth in terms of the value of transactions, recording modest annual shifts of 2.8 per cent and 2.4 per cent respectively.