December spending jumps almost 8pct

December spending jumps almost 8pct

More tourists and more money in New Zealanders' pockets are being credited for a nearly 8 percent jump in the value of retail spending in December, according to the country's largest electronic retailing company.

Nearly $5.5 billion in 106 million transactions went through Eftpos and credit card terminals in the busiest retail month of the year, says Paymark.

Debit cards accounted for 54 percent of the spending and credit cards 46 percent.

Influencing factors included the Reserve Bank cutting the OCR to 2.5 percent in early December, continued economic growth, strong accommodation figures from increased visitor numbers - December was 11.1 percent up on November, Paymark said.

Those factors helped offset lower petrol prices.

The Bay of Plenty, Marlborough, Auckland and Northland and Southland saw the strongest growth with the Bay of Plenty breaking into double figure growth at 10.1 percent over the same month in 2014.

However, Taranaki's spending of $111.6 million was only up 0.2 percent and the West Coast's $36.4M was only up 0.4 percent.

Paymark handles about 75 percent of electronic transactions in New Zealand.