Christmas Eve and Boxing Day spending records have been
smashed out of the park, Paymark figures reveal, and a Dunedin
business leader says Otago's spending is clear evidence
residents are confident about their financial future.
Paymark sales and marketing head Paul Whiston said Christmas
Eve was Paymark's biggest day on record, with $238.4 million
going through the network - a ''whopping'' 18.5% up on the
same day in 2012.
Nationally, $134.4 million was spent on Boxing Day, up 12%.
''Christmas Eve this year smashed all our records. Not only
did we see the highest value through the network ever, we
also saw the highest number of transactions [at 4.35 million]
and the largest number of transactions per second.
''To come off the back of a high like this and to also see
the busiest Boxing Day that we've ever seen is a hugely
positive result for retailers,'' he said.
The majority of the country's spending was in the
Auckland-Northland region, with $90.8 million going through
the system on Christmas Eve (up 19.8% from 2012) and $56
million on Boxing Day (up 13.2% from 2012).
Significant increases were recorded on Christmas Eve and
Boxing Day in Canterbury (17%/15.1%), Wellington (12.9%/9%),
and Waikato (18.7%/10.6%).
Otago spending was up 7.4% to $12.5 million on Christmas Eve,
and up 7% to $7.5 million on Boxing Day.
Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie said
it was a significant increase in spending for the region, and
believed it was an indication consumer confidence was high
due to the improved economy.
''It shows Otago residents are confident in their employment
prospects and their earning potential in the year ahead.
''Consumer confidence is growing again. It bodes well for our
''Also, what goes around, comes around - when retailers are
happy [with their financial situation], they employ more
Mr Whiston said Gisborne had the highest growth on Christmas
Eve, up almost 36% on the previous year, and Wairarapa had an
extra $200,000 injected into its local economy, an increase
of 17.2% on 2012.
On Christmas Eve, spending at food/liquor retailers increased
28% and department stores increased 23.2%, he said.
For Boxing Day, it was the sales which had increases of 16.5%
at clothing and jewellery stores, 16.6% at appliance and
whiteware stores, 12% at electronics retailers, and 17.5% at
floor covering and furniture stores.
Sporting and camping equipment outlets also had big days,
both on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, up 20.2% and 31.8%
More than 74,000 merchants and 116,000 terminals are
connected to the Paymark network, which processes more than
75% of all electronic transactions in the New Zealand retail