Coronavirus: Paymark figures show 50 percent increase in spending in days before lockdown

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Kiwis stocked up on liquor, hardware, homeware and recreational goods. Photo credit: Getty.

Liquor outlets, hardware, homeware and recreational outlets enjoyed record spending on the Monday and Tuesday before lockdown began.

According to Paymark electronic card data, in the week ending Sunday March 22, pharmacy spending jumped by 81 percent, and food and liquor outlets saw a 51.8 percent spike.

On the following Monday and Tuesday just before lockdown (March 23 to 24) spending soared, increasing by around 50 percent compared to a year ago.

Figures show that liquor, hardware and homeware and recreational goods were popular choices for Kiwis stocking up before lockdown officially began on Wednesday.

On the first day of lockdown (Thursday March 26), unsurprisingly, spending dropped by a massive 72 percent compared to the same period in 2019, as all but essential businesses had closed. Electricity and consumer finance companies were the only ones spared, with spending still above that of a year ago.

Over March 25 to March 28, the data showed that travel companies, entertainment services and parking services took a massive hit, resulting in negative payments recorded across the sector for the week.

In the seven days ending on March 29, spending across debit and credit cards (excluding fuel) was $907 million: 33 percent less than the previous week and 27 percent less than a year ago.

The area which had the biggest drop in spending year-on-year was Otago, down 39.8 percent to $42.5 million.

Auckland/Northland were down 32.4 percent to $339 million, followed by Wellington, down 29.6 percent to $82.7 million. BoP was down 26.3 percent to $62.3 million and Waikato down 22.6 percent to $70.9 million.

As expected, supermarket and pharmacy spending was up on last year, while restaurants, cafes and bars were hit with an 87.2 percent drop and spending on accommodation fell by 78.4 percent.