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Oct spending figures indicate Christmas build-up is coming

October spending figures indicate Christmas build-up is coming

Figures released today by leading payments provider Paymark show spending through the Paymark network was up 8.1 per cent nationally from October 2012 to October 2013.

Paymark, which processes around three quarters of all electronic transactions in New Zealand, also recorded a strong seasonally adjusted month-on-month spending result, increasing 1.7 per cent from September to October and 2.5 per cent when fuel spending is excluded.

The figures indicate a significant bounce back in spending following a slow period towards the end of September.

Paul Whiston, Paymark Acting CEO, says that the Christmas build-up is imminent, and we typically see spending jump repeatedly over the last three months of the year.

“This result is a good start for retailers as they begin their pre-Christmas campaigns. We are seeing an above average month-on-month result, which indicates that growth is happening above and beyond the usual trends,” he says.

Double-digit year-on-year growth was seen in hardware stores (+14.8%), liquor outlets (+13%), and cafes and restaurants (+12.8%) during the month of October.

In addition, strong growth was reported in footwear stores (+9.3%), appliance stores (+9.2%), takeaway outlets (+9.8%) and accommodation providers (+9.1%).

“As the warmer weather arrives it appears the desire to work on the house and enjoy meals and drinks out with friends does too,” says Whiston.

“The Christmas lunch season is also about to hit. Spending at cafes and bars does tend to jump significantly in the next few weeks, culminating in spending during the week before Christmas at around 25-30 per cent higher than a typical week in October.

“However, this pales in comparison to sectors such as beauty salons, bookshops, department stores, gift shops and butchers, where weekly trade tends to jump sharply from here on in to eventually be over twice October levels in the last full week before Christmas.

“This time of the year is important for retailers as spending over the next few weeks can mark the difference between a good year and a bad year,” he adds.

In terms of regional results for the month, spending was strongest in Marlborough (+10.7%), Canterbury (+10.1%) and Auckland/Northland (+10.0%), all three regions exceeding the national average.

However, spending remained below last year in the West Coast (-1.8%) and was slow in Wellington (+3.1%) and Wanganui (+3.0%) during October.

Nationwide during October, the number of card transactions was 7.8 per cent higher than a year ago, with credit card usage up 13.6 per cent and debit card usage up 6.1 per cent.

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