Retailers had a bumper New Year sales period as Kiwis continued to open their wallets and shop up large.
Kiwis spent $696 million in the seven days ending January 4 - up 7 per cent on the same period last year and 13 per cent higher than pre-Covid times in 2019, figures from Worldline NZ show.
And they also spent up big on alcohol for New Year's Eve with payments processed through liquor retailing merchants up 13 per cent on 2020 to $16m.
"End-of-year sales and New Year's eve celebrations continued to motivate Kiwi shoppers to spend up at core retailers in the final week of 2021 and the first days of 2022, lifting spending for the period above levels seen in the past two years," the report noted.
Spending on New Year's eve specifically in 2021 through the core retail merchant group (excluding hospitality) was $140m nationally, up 9 per cent on New Year's eve in 2020.
This included $16m processed through liquor retailing merchants (excluding liquor spending through supermarkets), which was up 13 per cent on 2020.
Overall, spending at liquor merchants on New Year's eve 2021 was higher than 2020 across all Worldline NZ-defined regions, except Gisborne and West Coast.
This followed a busy pre-Christmas period where spending at core retail merchants nationwide was up 6.9 per cent compared to 2020 – setting a new record for retailers within Worldline NZ's payments network.
The final week of spending for 2021 provided a strong end to a year that was notable for lockdowns and travel restrictions across borders around Auckland.
Across the nation, annual spending growth was highest in Taranaki with 17 per cent increase and lowest in Gisborne which dropped 3 per cent.
"Noticeably spending in Gisborne over these seven days, which included the New Year's eve long weekend, was also below that of 2019/20, reducing it to negative 3 per cent."
Elsewhere, spending was above 2019 and 2020 levels.
Auckland/Northland had the highest value of spend for the seven days ending January 4 at $242.9m - a 7 per cent increase on 2020 and a 14 per cent rise on 2019.
Auckland moved to the orange traffic light setting of the Covid protection framework on December 30 while Northland remains in red.
Canterbury had the second highest spend by region at $70.4m, followed by the Waikato at $63.1m.