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NZ spending rises in November as Christmas looms: Paymark

NZ spending rises in November as Christmas looms: Paymark

By Paul McBeth

Dec. 7 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealanders’ spending rose last month as retailers gear up for the Christmas trading season.

The value of spending rose 5.5%, or $3.78 billion in November from the same month a year earlier, according to data from Paymark, which processes about three-quarters of all electronic transactions. That’s up from 3.3% in October and is the second month capturing the government’s hike in goods and services tax. The volume of trades rose 5.6% last month.

The biggest gains were in car repairs, supermarket spending and footwear, which rose an annual 12%, 10% and 8% respectively. Big ticket items such as appliances and electronic and recreational goods stores were sill posting year-on-year declines or modest annual growth, the company said.

“The pre-Christmas spend up has a long lead-in time, starting in mid-November,” chief executive Simon Tong said in a statement. “It’s early days yet, and spending is mixed across industries, but these are encouraging signs that the growth in spending over Christmas may finish stronger than the last couple of year.”

The data stands in contrast to clothing retailer Hallenstein Glasson Holdings’ trading over through October and November, which stalled after gains in the prior two months. Hallenstein Glasson chairman Warren Bell told shareholders December is going to be a “make or break” month as competition tightens amid subdued consumer demand.

Paymark spending growth was fastest in Waikato at 9.1%, Palmerston North at 7.6% and South Canterbury at 8%. Marlborough was the only region to report a fall in trading last month, down 7% from November last year.

(BusinessDesk)

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