November is usually the peak month for purchasing online goods from overseas, and this November saw purchases by Kiwis from international merchants up 20 per cent on the same month a year ago. The strong result is a healthy sign for Christmas stockings, albeit that Kiwis are paying a bit more this year due to the lower NZ dollar.
The strong November figure means it is likely that the softening in growth seen for international purchases in October was not the herald of a new trend. The weak October growth now seems largely driven by the bringing forward of some electronic goods purchases into September, and cycling off a strong October 2014.
Spending online at local merchants has been quite robust in recent months, with growth tracking ahead of that for physical stores in October and November. Amongst the large categories, stand-out online growth areas for local merchants in October were food, clothing, and department and variety stores.