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Christmas, Boxing Day boost card spending in December: StatsNZ

Card spending in retail rose 3.5 per cent, or $250 million, during the month of December 2020 when compared to the same period of 2019, according to new figures released by StatsNZ.

Spending on groceries and liquor saw the biggest rise during the month, growing 7.5 per cent compared to the year prior, while durables (furniture, hardware, electrical goods and appliances) rose 6.7 per cent during the same period.

“The continued spending on groceries and liquor coincides with the first month of the summer holidays,” said retail statistics manager Craig Liken.

“[While] the boost in furniture and electrical goods such as cell phones and laptops reflects Kiwis spending on Christmas gifts and during Boxing Day sales.”

Over the course of the December quarter card spending rose 4.3 per cent, or $816 million, as more and more Kiwis spend online – once again, primarily on groceries, liquor, furniture and appliances.

And during the complete 2020 calendar year, total spending (including sectors other than retail) was down 0.2 per cent to $68 billion.

According to Liken, spending habits changed over the course of 2020, with less spending on hospitality and fuel – with Kiwis being unable to eat out or travel for a significant part of the year – while spending on consumables rose.

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