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Kiwis lift spending in Christmas run-up, though pace slows

Kiwis lift spending in run-up to Christmas, though pace slows

Dec. 22 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealanders spent more in the first 21 days of December than they did last year though the pace of growth has slowed in the past three months, according to Paymark.

Kiwis spent about $3 billion at retailers so far this month, up 3.8% from a year earlier, said Paymark, which processes more than 75% of the nation’s electronic transactions. Growth in spending slowed from a 4.6% pace in October and November.

The volume of transactions increased 3.4% to 57,723,941 from a year ago. Paymark said wet weather last weekend may have sapped enthusiasm for spending, which was down 0.8% over Friday, Dec. 17, to Sunday, Dec. 19, from the same period of 2009.

“Retailers are still having a tough time of it and while we have seen an increase in sales over the last few months, it’s important to note that the increases have been very mixed across sectors,” said Paymark chief executive
Simon Tong.

In the first 21 days of the month, spending on Eftpos cards rose 5.3% while credit card transactions gained 2%.

Sales at small toy shops climbed 12% while sales at large general retailers gained 3.5%. Sales of books are up 5% from a year ago and specialty food items flew off the shelves with growth of 18%.

Sales at music shops fell 20.1%, garden centres were down 5.1% and camera/photography shops fell 4.8%.


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