New Zealand sees spending growth

Figures released New Zealand payments provider, Paymark, show NZ spending through the Paymark network increased by 4.3 per cent in the first six months of 2013 when compared to the first half of 2012. Resource-8

This exceeds the annual average growth rate in the first six months of each of the previous four years, implying a steady, yet gradual economic pick up.

But the nature of this pick up has been divided, with some sectors reporting particularly strong growth during the first half of 2013 and others recording declines.

Paymark head of sales and marketing, Paul Whiston, says that although overall things are looking positive for NZ retailers, there are some strong dynamics within the retail sector such as shifts towards internet sales and changes in spending patterns within stores.

“We’ve seen some sectors such as home decorating and hardware stores, and restaurants and cafes thriving during the first half of this year.

Yet other retailers such as travel companies and bookshops, have faced significant declines, down 11.9 per cent and 8.4 per cent respectively,” said Whiston.

“Particularly in the travel sector we have seen a sharp fall in the volume of transactions going through the network, however, the value of the transactions that are processed is high, indicating perhaps that people are still continuing to book longer haul travel through a physical retailer but smaller trips online.”

In terms of regional spending, most experienced a higher or similar growth rate in the first half of 2013 compared with the same period last year.

Notable exceptions were Southland, up two per cent; and the West Coast, down 0.9 per cent, where growth rates were low and below year ago growth rates. In the month of June, the total value of Paymark transactions increased 4.6 per cent year on year, slightly ahead of the 4.3 per cent averaged over the first six months of 2013.

Food takeaway outlets showed strong growth during June, up 9.3 per cent year on year, and housing related spending also remained strong with furniture/floor covering outlets up 9.1 per cent, plumbing suppliers rising seven per cent, and appliance retailers growing by six per cent all showing an increase in spending.

Furthermore, modest growth was reported amongst accommodation providers, growing 2.7 per cent; clothing stores, 1.2 per cent; footwear shops, 2.9 per cent; and beauty and hairdressing salons, 0.5 per cent during June.

“The Christchurch rebuild continues to drive the household sector spending and we also saw Canterbury once again topping the regional growth rate table at 8.1 per cent, significantly higher than the June national average of 4.6 per cent,” said Whiston.

Nationwide during June, Paymark, which processes around 75 per cent of all electronic transactions in New Zealand, reported that the number of monthly card transactions was up 4.8 per cent on a year ago, with credit card usage increasing at 9.8 per cent, a much faster rate than debit card usage at 3.4 per cent.

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