Transaction amounts falling, Paymark figures show

Low inflation is affecting the value of purchases. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Low inflation is affecting the value of purchases. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
New Zealand's low inflation rate is having an effect on the amount Kiwis are spending, the latest Paymark figures suggest.

Three major trends emerged in the latest figures released yesterday.

One of the significant trends was a generally falling average transaction value, consistent with a low general inflation rate, spokesman Paul Brislen said.

The average transaction size in January of $47.36 was 2.2% lower than 12 months earlier. Some of the lower value reflected increasing use of cards for smaller payments.

``But the fact the rate of decline has increased in recent months is suggestive of low inflation pressure extending into 2018.''

The average transaction value fell by 0.3% in the first half of 2017 and by 1.7% in the second half, he said.

A notable exception to the trend was the average transaction size at fuel stations, increasing 0.9% between January 2017 and January 2018 to $46.92.

Overall, the increase in spending from last year continued into January, although at a slower pace. Auckland remained one of the slower-growing regions in terms of spending.

Spending nationally through Paymark totalled $5.01million in January.

The underlying annual spending growth rate of 5.3% was slightly below the average 5.4% in 2017.

Mr Brislen said the figures provided insights into how trends evident last year were shaping up this year.

Spending in Auckland-Northland was still growing but at a slower rate than in early 2017 and slower than in other regions. The 3.9% growth rate between January 2017 and January 2018 was similar to the 3.6% growth rates averaged in the second half of last year and below the 5.2% first-half 2017 average, he said.

Spending growth in the rest of New Zealand went from 6% in the first half of last year to 6.2% in the second half. It maintained 6.2% growth in January.

Smaller regions were leading the way. For January, the highest annual underlying growth rates were recorded by merchants in Marlborough (16.4%), Southland (13.8%), Whanganui (11.5%), West Coast (11.2%) and Wairarapa (11%).

Otago grew at 5.6% and recorded $317.9million from 6.9million transactions.

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