Customer spending on retail has increased by one percent since a year ago, with spend rising to over $2.8 billion in May 2022.
EFTPOS and transactional services company Worldline has recorded that consumer spending on retail is 1.1 percent higher than May of 2021.
However, Worldline NZ’s Head of Data, George Putnam says that this rate is below the four percent averaged in the past few months.
“May 2022 had one less Saturday than May 2021, so that was always going to make it tough to record a high growth rate. However, what these numbers clearly show is an overall low growth rate, with spending falling below levels seen a year ago on several days during the month,” he says.
Putnam reveals that the appliances, furniture, apparel, bookshop and jewellery sectors have seen spending “below year-ago levels”. But he adds that the effect of inflation resulting in higher prices has affected consumer behaviour.
Read more: April sees sharp improvement in retail spend.
The region that saw the most spend was the Auckland/Northland, seeing transactions of up to $1 billion. This is followed by Canterbury which saw a spend of $346 million.
Compared to before the Covid-19 pandemic, the Taranaki and Wairarapa regions have seen the largest growth in retail spending between May 2019 and May 2022. Taranaki recorded an increase of 24.4 percent and Wairarapa recorded an increase of 23.3 percent.
Spending in sectors such as hairdressers and movie theatres has improved as the country sees Covid-19 restrictions ease. For hairdressers, they saw a growth of 3.2 percent, up from a -1.2 percent decline seen in the first four months of 2022.
On the other hand, movie theatres saw growth of 17.8 percent, up from the -6.4 percent decline seen in 2021.
The hospitality sector continues to trend down, the month of May recording a $888 million spend, down 7.4 percent from last year. Regionally, spending in the hospitality sector is also below year-ago levels.
In the Auckland/Northland region alone, Worldline reports a -0.9 percent decrease in consumer spending in the hospitality sector.