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Average Kiwi to Spend Over $900 this Christmas

Average Kiwi to Spend Over $900 this Christmas

MasterCard International Releases Results of the Second Annual

Christmas Spend Survey

Auckland 21 November 2005

The average New Zealand consumer will spend over $900 this Christmas period contributing to a national spend of $2.7 billion, according to the second annual Christmas Spend Survey released by MasterCard International today.

The survey, conducted by Galaxy Research, reveals that there has been a significant shift in the type of items New Zealanders are likely to purchase this year. They will move away from the 'big ticket' items popular in 2004 and instead treat themselves with food and drink.

The average family is expected to spend slightly more than singles, budgeting around $1,150 over the Christmas period. The survey results indicate that of the 1.7 million adults who use their credit cards for Christmas spending, more than $1 billion will be rung up in sales on their credit cards.

The survey was undertaken to determine spending trends across seven product categories including food and drink, clothing and shoes, toys, home entertainment and electronics, home and garden furnishings, computer equipment and jewellery.

According to Leigh Clapham, senior vice president and general manager, Australasia, MasterCard International, Christmas spend remains strong but in check.

"While spending remains positive across all categories it's encouraging to see that New Zealanders will enjoy Christmas without going overboard. New Zealanders are spending to celebrate, enjoying those Priceless moments that Christmas creates," said Clapham.

The survey results indicate that most credit card users overwhelmingly rate convenience as the principal reason for using credit cards compared to other forms of payment during the festive season. Other reasons offered included not having to carry cash, as well as the ability to manage their cash flow and to track their spending over a number of months.

Christmas Spending Survey Highlights

• 1 in 3 New Zealanders intends to spend more on food and drink this Christmas compared to 2004.

• This is followed by clothes and shoes with 24% also expecting to spend more on these items compared to last year.

• Toys ranked as third highest category with 23% - especially amongst parents of pre-schoolers

• Home entertainment and electronics equipment and home and garden furnishings tied for the fourth highest category with 17% of those surveyed saying they will spend more on these items this Christmas compared to last year.

Top Three Tips to Managing Your Budget at Christmas

• Draw up a budget for your Christmas expenditure so you can estimate how much you need to spend over the Christmas period

• Keep track of your spending by regularly referring to your credit card transaction reports

• In between monthly statements log on to your internet banking website to check your statements online

About MasterCard International Christmas Spend Survey The MasterCard International Christmas Spend Survey is conducted by Galaxy Research, one of Australasia's leading qualitative and quantitative research companies. The national MasterCard survey is now in its second year in New Zealand and is undertaken to determine trends in consumer spending during the Christmas period. The survey of 477 people aged 18 years or older was conducted during 26

31 October 2005.

The surveys have closely reflected spending patterns over the corresponding Christmas retail periods. Key findings from the 2004 MasterCard survey indicated Christmas spending was up for retailers with one in five New Zealanders suggesting they would be spending more, with clothes and shoes being the most popular category.

About MasterCard International MasterCard International is a leading global payments solutions company that provides a broad variety of innovative services in support of our global members' credit, deposit access, electronic cash, business-to-business and related payment programs. MasterCard manages a family of well-known, widely accepted payment card brands including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus® and serves financial institutions, consumers and businesses in over 210 countries and territories. The MasterCard award-winning Priceless® advertising campaign is now seen in 105 countries and in 48 languages, giving the MasterCard brand a truly global reach and scope.

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