Kiwis spending more on household and recreational goods

Furniture shopping
Spending on furniture and homewares rose in September.

Card spending on furniture, electrical, hardware, and recreational goods surged to unusually high levels in September according to Stats NZ. 

Total spending on those categories surged 25 per cent year on year last month, accounting for $753 million, up $149 million on last year.

“Increased spending on long-lasting goods could be the effects of pent-up demand following alert level 3 restrictions lifting in Auckland after August closures, along with New Zealanders returning from overseas setting up new homes,” said retail statistics manager Kathy Hicks.

September’s rise followed a decline in August attributed to Auckland moving to alert level 3 for more than half of the month.

Meanwhile, Kiwis spent 31-per-cent more on recreational goods during the month. 

Those increases were a stark contrast to the fortunes of the accommodation sector. 

Stats NZ data shows spending on hotels, motels, campgrounds, and other accommodation remains well below levels a year ago. In September spending on accommodation was down by $54 million, or 29 per cent, compared with the same month last year.

“Spending on hotels, motels, and the like plunged in April after the border closed to international visitors in March to slow the spread of Covid-19 and sales have only partly recovered since then,” said Hicks.

Border restrictions have also hit the hospitality sector, but not to the same degree. Monthly spend on bars and takeaways and eating out are now back in line with a year ago.

“Auckland moved into Covid-19 alert level 3 on August 12, restricting eating out, but the region moved back down to level 2 with some extra restrictions on social gatherings on August 31, giving the region’s hospitality sector a boost in September,” said Hicks.

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