Ten Days to Christmas and a Slow Start to Spending

Published: Tue 16 Dec 2008 12:58 PM
Good morning
Please find attached and below a release on December spending from Paymark. Please do get in touch for further information or to speak to a Paymark spokesperson.
Kind regards
Media Release
Tuesday 16 December
Ten Days to Christmas and a Slow Start to Spending
With Christmas Day now less than 10 days away, the latest figures from Paymark show a relatively slow start to spending in the first two weeks of December for retailers around the country.
Paymark figures released today show that New Zealanders have spent a total of $1.76 billion across the network in the first two weeks of the month (1 – 14 December inclusive). This is up just 1.7 percent compared to the same fortnight in 2007.
Paymark has processed more than 33 million transactions during the month to date, which is up 6.7 percent on last year.
Paymark spokesperson Paul Whiston says; “The numbers are consistent with what we saw last month – retail spending remains flat. We know some of this low spending growth is the result of lower petrol prices reducing spending in service stations but the total volume growth rate remains similar to earlier in the year when retailers generally reported weak demand, and also remains below the growth rate reported this time last year. The current economic climate will be impacting, but there remains the likelihood that consumers will again hit the shops late this year, as they did in 2003 when Christmas Day last fell on a Thursday.”
The regions to experience fastest growth in the first half of December compared to the same dates last year were Marlborough, South Canterbury and Gisborne. Conversely the Palmerston North and Wanganui regions had the smallest spending increases, while spending was down in Otago.
Paymark processes more than three quarters of all in store electronic transactions in New Zealand. Last year Kiwis spent more than $4 billion through the Paymark network in the weeks before Christmas. Paymark will be working hard to ensure these transactions are processed as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

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