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In the last seven days spending with Paymark merchants has picked up amongst the Food, Liquor and Restaurants/bars/café merchants and declined amongst a wide range of shops such as furniture, clothing and appliances stores. This is typical in the lead up to Christmas.

Spending in total amongst the Core retail merchants processing payments through Paymark did take the usual step down from the busy week that spanned Black Friday, but spending remains above year-ago levels for the latest seven days. Underlying core spending dropped 2.4% from $984m in the seven days ending 1 December 2020 to $960m in the seven days ending 8 December 2020, but was 3.6% above the $927m for the 7 days ending 8 December 2019.

Figure 1: All Cards NZ underlying spending through Paymark NZ core retail merchants for seven-days ending, as at 2020 and same dates last year.

As per the previous week, annual spending growth through Paymark was experienced by a wide range of shops, including those selling clothing, furniture, hardware, appliances, sporting equipment, books, pharmacies and garden plants.

However, relative to the previous seven days (which included Black Friday), there was less spent amongst these same merchants groups but more spending at food and liquor stores, and at restaurants, bars and cafes. Spending across the board is expected to pick up further in the next two weeks, building to a peak near Christmas Day.

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With Christmas Day falling on a Friday, the peak spending day is expected to be either the Wednesday (as in 2015) or Thursday (as in 2009) immediately before Christmas Day. Last year the peak spending day was on the Friday ahead of Christmas Day on Wednesday.

Returning to the recent seven days, annual underlying spending growth through Paymark amongst Core Retailers was strongest in Wairarapa (+11.8%) and Taranaki (+10.8%) but spending was below year-ago levels in Otago (-9.3%), Southland (-3.6%) and Marlborough (-0.2%).

Figure 2: All Cards NZ annual underlying spending growth through Paymark for 7 days for Regional core retail merchants.

Paymark figures are compiled from spending in retail stores around New Zealand and don’t include online spending. This is traditionally done via credit card and processed outside the Paymark network.

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