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First quarter of 2019 up, but only just

Over the March quarter, spending was up 0.9% seasonally adjusted in the December 2018 quarter, and up slightly faster at 1.3% when spending at fuel merchants is excluded. Both rates are below the average of the previous five years (2014-2018) of 1.4% and 1.5% respectively.

“A slower growth momentum exists at present,” says Darren Hopper, Head of e-Commerce, Digital Experience & Marketing at Paymark. “The monthly spending pattern can be volatile, as has been the case in the last six months. So too have the quarterly figures of late but a clear pattern has emerged of spending growth having decelerated.”

“Furthermore, the slowdown in growth is more noticeable in the South Island. Last year underlying spending had increased 6.3% from March quarter to March quarter across the South Island. This March quarter that growth rate had slowed to 3.8%. This is still more than Auckland/Northland but the top of the North Island was already low last year. Meanwhile annual spending growth, while also lower this year so far, remains relatively high across the other North Island regions, averaging 6.2%. All in all, it makes for very mixed stories amongst merchants at present.”


PAYMARK All Cards Data (Mar quarter 2019 versus same quarter 2018)
VolumeUnderlying*ValueUnderlying*
Regiontransactions millions Annual % changetransactions $millionsAnnual % change
Auckland/Northland 128.284.1%$6,142.9 3.3%
Waikato 25.426.4%$1,124.6 5.2%
BOP 23.286.7%$1,071.3 4.8%
Gisborne 3.247.2%$136.1 9.0%
Taranaki 7.065.4%$300.6 5.3%
Hawke's Bay 10.086.0%$449.4 6.7%
Wanganui 3.846.9%$153.4 6.8%
Palmerston North 10.605.9%$520.5 6.7%
Wairarapa 3.387.5%$144.3 5.5%
Wellington 34.476.3%$1,425.5 5.9%
Nelson 6.564.4%$313.8 2.1%
Marlborough 4.286.8%$212.1 5.5%
West Coast 2.326.2%$117.8 4.1%
Canterbury 35.995.8%$1,661.2 4.1%
South Canterbury 4.793.6%$234.3 3.3%
Otago 19.634.8%$952.1 3.2%
Southland 7.616.4%$378.5 5.3%
New Zealand 333.285.2%$15,489.4 4.2%
* Underlying spending excludes large clients moving to or from Paymark

Paymark All Cards transaction data (March quarter 2019 versus March quarter 2018)


Spending through the Paymark network totaled $5.3 billion in March. In underlying terms, this spending was a mere 2.5% above year-ago levels. In seasonally underlying terms, the spending was 0.3% below February.

Annual spending growth rates were low in Auckland/Northland, South Canterbury and Otago (1.5%) and spending declined in Nelson (-0.1%) and West Coast (-0.8%). Highest annual growth rates were recorded in Palmerston North (7.0%) and Gisborne (6.9%).

PAYMARK All Cards Data (Mar 2019 versus same month 2018)
VolumeUnderlying*ValueUnderlying*
Regiontransactions millions Annual % changetransactions $millionsAnnual % change
Auckland/Northland 45.893.2%$2,141.5 1.5%
Waikato 8.745.1%$378.2 2.8%
BOP 7.735.1%$350.8 2.2%
Gisborne 1.087.1%$45.2 6.9%
Taranaki 2.445.0%$102.7 4.0%
Hawke's Bay 3.465.5%$153.0 4.9%
Wanganui 1.346.6%$53.1 5.8%
Palmerston North 3.756.2%$182.0 7.0%
Wairarapa 1.165.9%$49.3 3.2%
Wellington 12.516.4%$504.7 4.8%
Nelson 2.142.6%$101.5 -0.1%
Marlborough 1.415.2%$69.2 3.4%
West Coast 0.760.7%$37.9 -0.8%
Canterbury 12.664.7%$573.5 2.6%
South Canterbury 1.651.9%$80.9 1.5%
Otago 6.913.5%$321.6 1.5%
Southland 2.647.3%$129.6 4.8%
New Zealand 117.124.3%$5,326.8 2.5%
* Underlying spending excludes large clients moving to or from Paymark

Paymark All Cards transaction data (March 2019 versus March 2018)

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