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Tourism restrictions affect Otago, Southland retail spending in August

Spending on card

Retail spending in Otago and Southland is taking a hit, feeling the toll of bans on incoming international visitors, according to recent Paymark electronic card data.

Meanwhile, Auckland spending was clearly impacted by the Covid-19 Alert Level 3 restrictions.

Underlying spending through Paymark across a wide range of Auckland retail and non-retail merchants was down 42 per cent in the week ending August 30, the last week of Level 3.

Consumer spending in Otago was down 14.7 per cent and Southland saw a 5.1 per cent decline as these regions continued to feel the impact of international travel restrictions.

In contrast, underlying consumer spending in the last week of August was up 4.8 per cent in Northland and 2.1 per cent in Hawke’s Bay.

By August 31, the first day of Level 2 in Auckland, spending was up strongly with many merchants recording spending 50 to 100 per cent above the same Monday last year.

Sectors experiencing declines during August both within and outside of Auckland included electrical and electronic goods, down 11.4 per cent nationwide); clothing/footwear down 27.5 per cent; and accommodation which saw a 36.1 per cent decline. 

Outside of the core retail sector, spending in beauty and hairdressing merchants was down in Auckland/Northland during August compared to the previous corresponding period but up elsewhere while spending in a range of merchant groups remains generally below year-ago levels – including doctors, gyms, entertainment merchants and travel companies.

For the month in total, underlying annual spending growth through Paymark for core retail merchants was down 0.1 per cent, with Auckland/Northland down 15.0 per cent and the remaining regions up 9.1 per cent. 

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