Monday 24 December, 2018
Retailers are likely to be pleased but unexcited with this year’s Christmas spending as the running total for the first
23 days of December is up only 1.0% (excluding fuel) on last year. However, the impact of Black Friday is now clear with
a peak in November followed by a flat period for the start of December and a strong pick-up towards the end of the
The busiest period of the year came Saturday 22nd December which saw a new record for the peak number of transactions
seen on the Paymark network – 182 transactions per second at 12.16pm. That’s up from the previous peak of 177 per second
around the same time last year. Typically we see around 60-70 transactions per second so it’s a significant leap up for
the Christmas peak.
The biggest day spending-wise was Thursday, 20th December with $296 million (down slightly on the peak of 2017 which was
$299 million on Friday 22nd December) and overall spending in December is on track to hit $5 billion for the month once
Christmas Eve shopping is included.
Christmas Eve is often the busiest spending day of the year, however when Christmas Eve falls on a Monday, as it has
this year, the shopping tends to get spread over the previous days as well.
Spending last week amongst jewellery and watch merchants was down slightly (0.2%) on last year, while boaties should not
expect too much for Christmas as marine merchant annual spending growth was a meagre 0.2%. Our generous side did come to
the fore this Christmas – donations to charities have increased 9% on last year.
Over the weekend, gift buying continued aplenty but food and liquor spending took on a greater prominence. Spending on
food and liquor was up 32% on the prior weekend as we stock up for Christmas and hopefully some time off before New
Year. Kiwis spent a total of $130.5 million on the food and liquor category this weekend, with more to come today.
Spending over the weekend through the Paymark network, excluding Fuel merchants, jumped 18% from the previous weekend,
to be $429 million. This total is 3.1% above the pre-Xmas weekend last year.
Paymark region Non-fuel spending Sat/Sun 22-23rd Dec 2018 ($) Annual % change (vs Sat-Sun 23-24th 2017)
Palmerston North 12,808,451 8.6%
Otago 26,509,658 7.1%
Wellington 38,178,498 5.7%
Canterbury 48,242,083 4.0%
Wanganui 4,258,250 3.8%
Waikato 31,340,064 3.1%
New Zealand 428,943,940 3.1%
Auckland & Northland 167,297,796 2.9%
Marlborough 6,004,949 2.3%
Hawkes Bay 13,317,472 2.1%
BOP 30,176,870 1.4%
Southland 9,973,017 1.3%
Taranaki 8,331,999 1.2%
Nelson 8,525,924 0.5%
Gisborne 3,850,698 -1.3%
South Canterbury 6,314,569 -2.1%
West Coast 2,809,724 -2.5%
Wairarapa 4,170,948 -2.9%