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December spending shows fastest year of growth since 2008

December spending rounds off fastest year of growth since 2008

Figures released today by leading payments provider Paymark show a strong finish to the year with spending through the Paymark network up 7.5% between December 2012 and December 2013, bringing to an end the fastest year of growth since 2008.

Paymark, which processes around 75 per cent of all electronic transactions in New Zealand, also recorded a strong seasonally adjusted month-on-month spending result, increasing 1.7% from November to December.

Paymark Head of Sales & Marketing, Paul Whiston, says the figures indicate a continued upswing in spending on the network across 2013, culminating in a particularly buoyant Christmas period.

“Following record-smashing spending on both Christmas Eve and Boxing Day it is not surprising to finish on such a high in December,” says Whiston.

High growth in December was recorded by pet stores (+9.2%), sporting / camping equipment stores (+9.3%), footwear retailers (+9.2%) and watch / jewellery shops (+8.7%) and double-digit year-on-year growth was seen in furniture stores (+11.5%) and duty free shops (+17.3%).

“A lot of sectors have showed some strong spending patterns through the month of December and many retailers will be very pleased with the results,” says Whiston.

It also seems Kiwis (and tourists) were out and about catching up with friends and family around the country with the hospitality sector up 9.5%, including a significant growth in accommodation (+11.1%) in contrast to no real year-on-year growth twelve months earlier.

In terms of regional results for the month, spending was strongest in Gisborne (+9.9%), Marlborough (+9.4%) and Palmerston North (+9.0%). However, growth rates remained low in the West Coast (+2.7%) and Wellington (+3.3%).

Nationwide during December, the volume of card transactions was 6.8 per cent higher than a year ago, with credit card growth (+15.2%) remaining higher than debit card growth (+4.0%).

“During 2013, Paymark processed 986 million transactions, totalling $49.3 billion, over the twelve months. The average transaction value of $49.99 was 0.2 per cent above the 2012 average.

“For the first time since the 2008 global financial crisis we’re seeing a significant increase in spending which should bring optimism for most Kiwi retailers, and hopefully we see this momentum continue into 2014” says Whiston.

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