New Zealand’s regions are leading the spending growth in the run-up to Christmas with the earthquake affected region of Marlborough, which includes Kaikoura, taking the top spot.
While all regions will face even stronger spending in the last two weeks before Christmas Day, the pre-Christmas pattern to date suggests the smaller regions will benefit the most, said Paymark.
“Highest spending growth last week was recorded in Marlborough, which includes Kaikoura in Paymark figures, marking a welcome change from the earthquake-affected experience of 2016”.
In terms of spending through Paymark, which captures 75% of all electronic card transactions in New Zealand, the other four smallest regions of Wairarapa, West Coast, Gisborne and Wanganui also recorded high spending growth.
In contrast, the lowest growth rate lately has been in the largest regions of Auckland/Northland, Canterbury and Wellington.
Paymark said three patterns stand out from pre-Christmas spending to date: there have been some exceptionally busy days; overall spending growth is higher than in earlier months of the year but Auckland is lagging behind the rest.
Over the last week, spending across all Paymark merchants was $1351.7m. Underlying growth was 7.8% when compared to the 4-10th December in 2016, said Paymark.
“This growth rate is slightly lower than the annual underlying growth of 8.0% in the previous week and 8.3% three weeks ago but all three weeks are above the average of the first ten months of this year.”
Spending is thus increasing as we approach Christmas but doing so at a faster rate than 2017 growth patterns to date, said Paymark.
“This dual pre-Christmas acceleration shows as the ratio of recent spending to the January-October average being higher than the pre-Christmas ratio last year. In the latest 7 days, underlying spending has been 119% of the Jan-Oct average (i.e. 19% above Jan-Oct average) whereas this time last year the ratio was 117%.”