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Early spending showing slight lift for retailers

Early spending showing slight lift for retailers

Figures released today show a slight rise in national spending across the Paymark network, as Christmas fast approaches and Kiwis begin their search for the perfect gift.

November saw 4.6 per cent annual growth in value compared to November 2011, and a one per cent increase on October, according to Paymark, which processes about 75 per cent of all electronic transactions in New Zealand.

Paymark Head of Sales and Marketing, Paul Whiston, says the increase in pre-Christmas spending has followed the patterns of recent years.

“We have seen the usual lift in spending from mid-November and the last seven days of the month were up 10.4 per cent as compared to the last seven days of October.

“Looking at the past five years, this increase is in line with the average November spending trends, however despite the increase we are aware that for many retailers it is still tough going.

“Based on historic figures, we expect the real rush is yet to come. Between 2007 and 2011 spending jumped an average of 27 per cent, from November to December as Kiwis ramped up their card usage in anticipation of Christmas,” says Whiston.

The November figures suggest the party season is swinging into action, with Kiwi’s increasing their spending at cafes and restaurants (+9.3%) and liquor retailers (+10.0%). This is an improvement on the weak annual growth rate in these sectors in recent months. However, the sharp increase can be attributed in part to November 2012 having one more Friday than November 2011.

Annual growth also reached double-digits amongst hardware stores (+10.4%), consistent with the trend of more spending on housing in general. Other sectors to experience growth above the 4.6 per cent national average included automotive outlets (+7.9%) and clothing shops (+6.5%) – perhaps those looking for the perfect outfit for their workplace Christmas celebration.

“It’s great to see Kiwi’s getting into the Christmas spirit and spending across a diverse range of sectors; we hope to see retailers reaping the benefits in the coming weeks,” added Whiston.

Waikato surged ahead with the highest regional growth in spending between November 2011 and 2012 (+6.5%), followed by Canterbury (+5.7%) who has been leading the charge since June. Auckland/Northland (+5.2%) also experienced strong growth.

Nationwide, during November, the number of card transactions was 5.1 per cent higher than a year ago, with debit card usage (+5.2%) increasing faster than credit card usage (+4.9%) for the second month in a row.

PAYMARK Regional Data (November 2012 versus same month 2011)
Volume (million transactions) Value of spending ($millions)
Region Last Year Current Year Volume Difference Last Year Current Year Value Difference
Auckland/Northland 30.73 32.31 5.1% $1,561.6 $1,643.2 5.2%
Waikato 5.66 6.03 6.7% $277.9 $295.9 6.5%
BOP 4.92 5.08 3.2% $251.1 $257.6 2.6%
Gisborne 0.73 0.74 1.5% $33.9 $35.0 3.2%
Taranaki/Taupo 1.85 1.93 4.1% $90.1 $93.0 3.3%
Hawkes Bay 2.19 2.27 4.0% $106.6 $110.7 3.9%
Wanganui 0.87 0.90 3.0% $38.6 $39.3 1.9%
PalmerstonNorth 2.47 2.54 2.7% $126.4 $132.4 4.8%
Wairarapa 0.74 0.77 3.8% $36.1 $37.4 3.7%
Wellington 8.57 9.10 6.2% $396.5 $412.7 4.1%
Nelson 1.47 1.54 4.4% $76.4 $79.1 3.6%
Marlborough 0.82 0.84 2.3% $43.2 $43.7 1.1%
West Coast 0.51 0.54 5.7% $29.6 $30.8 4.1%
Canterbury 8.47 9.02 6.5% $435.3 $460.0 5.7%
South Canterbury 1.22 1.25 2.6% $67.7 $69.7 3.0%
Otago 3.92 4.08 4.1% $199.5 $205.6 3.1%
Southland 1.71 1.83 7.1% $94.1 $98.4 4.6%
New Zealand 76.87 80.80 5.1% $3,902.2 $4,082.5 4.6%
(growth rate this time last year) 2.0% 3.2%


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