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First Week Of Level 1 And Manawatū Shrugs Off The Economic Blues

Manawatū has surged to New Zealand’s number two region for consumer total spend growth, in Paymark data covering the first week of Level 1. Electronic card spending in the region for the week ending 14 June being up 7.4 percent on the same week in 2019.

“This confirms what we’ve seen and heard. The Manawatū consumer has confidence to spend because they have confidence in our resilient regional economy,” says Linda Stewart, CEO of the Central Economic Development Agency (CEDA).

“Paymark data tells us that non-supermarket, pharmacy and liquor spending in Manawatū, was up 6 percent week-on-week. This is a strong indicator of general retail spending growth yet in Auckland it was down -7.0 percent.

“The real story of consumer spending confidence isn’t in the big cities, it’s in the regions.

“This can be explained in Manawatū’s economic fundamentals. The primary industries are our economic backbone and related exports remain solid. Manawatū is the second home of government underpinned by research, education, health and of course, the Defence Force.

“Manawatū also has billions of dollars of planned infrastructure that’s either underway, due to start, or likely to be accelerated. Simply put, our diversified economy positions us well for recovery and we are an attractive investment destination.

“The average Manawatū consumer has also spent more over each of the past four weeks, than they did in 2019. In the first week of Level 1 it was $44.80, up 9.9 percent on 2019.

“Paymark data puts into context CEDA’s third business survey on the impact of COVID-19. Conducted just after the move into Level 2, a bearish business sentiment has softened from 70 percent concern at the peak to 56 percent in our most recent survey.

“This survey conducted ahead of Level 1 showed that the top three concerns were a reduction in customers; short-term cash flow; and ongoing financial viability.

“Paymark data shows that the Manawatū consumer is shrugging off the COVID-19 economic blues to get on board and back ‘team Manawatū’,“ Ms Stewart finished by saying.

For Paymark’s consumer spend trends, please click here.

  • For the third CEDA Business Survey on the Impact of COVID-19, please click here.
  • For the CEDA Manawatu COVID-19 Impact Dashboard, please click here.
  • Please note Paymark data is drawn from 150,000 terminals around New Zealand; approximately 70 percent of the market. While not a direct fit for the economy, it provides a good proxy. This data does not capture online spending because that is done mostly by credit card.

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