For the month of April, Kiwis have spent $3.6 billion on retail and hospitality, a “sharp improvement” in the past eight months.
EFTPOS and transactional services company Worldline has recorded that there was $892 million spent on the hospitality industry in April, including accommodation, cafes, bars, restaurants and fast food in April.
Despite being up from the previous months, Worldline says that this is down 6.8 percent from April 2021 and 0.4 percent from April 2019.
“The increasing relaxation of Covid restrictions in April and the general shift towards more personal responsibility around risks of Covid did appear to prompt consumers to make the most of their new freedoms for autumnal dining opportunities,” says George Putnam, Head of Data.
Since 2019, the Wairarapa region has seen the largest increase in hospitality spend, with a 31 percent increase at a spend of $8 million.
Taranaki follows with a 27 percent increase at a spend of $22 million.
However, regions in the South Island are still down from April 2019 by 10 percent with a spend of $229 million.
But compared to recent previous months the South Island is seeing an increase of 32 percent.
“As was the case last year during less restrictive periods, the hospitality spending boost was more noticeable in the North Island regions outside of the two major centres than in the South Island, consistent with the larger population of the North Island moving around,” adds Putnam.
Compared to the hospitality sector, Worldline reports that the retail industry has seen exponential growth since 2019.
In April 2022, Kiwis spent $2.9 billion on retail, that is up 4.1 percent from April 2021 and 15.4 percent from April 2019 before the pandemic.
“Spending in the rest of the core retail sector, which overall is far larger than hospitality, is maintaining a growth momentum at present, at least in terms of total dollars being spent,” says Putnam.
Putnam also adds that the average value of payment transaction has increased from 12 months ago, assuming Kiwis are purchasing higher priced products.
The average value of transactions in April was $52.84, an increase of 8.9 percent from April 2021 and 11 percent from April 2019.
“In April this year we saw spending at merchants selling discretionary products – such as clothing and footwear, or electrical goods – showing growth patterns very similar to earlier months, suggesting that any inflation -induced cutbacks in spending have been modest so far.”
The Wairarapa region has seen the highest three-year growth within the retail industry, seeing a 29.7 increase.
This is followed by Taranaki with a 27.5 percent increase and Whanganui with a 23.5 percent increase.
In comparison, spending in Gisborne and Wellington is below levels seen last year, showing an increase of around 12 percent since 2019. All other regions have been trading at levels seen before Covid for the month of April.