Cost of living: Nearly one in four online-only New Zealand businesses have been liquidated since 2020 - Centrix report

One in four online-only Kiwi businesses have gone bust since 2020, according to new data.  

Credit reporting company Centrix released its latest report overnight, showing a 40 percent year-on-year rise in company liquidations in September.  

The report said the retail and construction sectors were being hit the hardest, with liquidations up 87 and 57 percent respectively.  

"Non-store retailing (e.g. online only stores) have the highest failure rate, with almost one in four new businesses failing since 2020 (24.4 percent)."  

There were also high failure rates in clothing and footwear retailers (21.9 percent) as well as cleaning manufacturing firms (20 pct).  

"Hospitality clubs, cosmetic manufacturing and advertising services have also faced elevated levels of company closure, as many consumers and businesses cut back on discretionary spend," the report said.  

"Interestingly, dairy farmers have some of the lowest failure rates (2 percent) despite the challenges facing the industry with regards to international export."  

Looking at personal debt, the report showed 11.7 percent of New Zealanders were behind on repayments - up 10 percent year-on-year.  

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In addition, 1.25 percent of mortgage accounts were overdue. That was up 23 percent year-on-year, the report said.  

Many mortgages were also "expected to be repriced in the next six to 12 months", it said.  

Amid spiralling inflation, the Reserve Bank has been aiming to curb spending by aggressively hiking interest rates. The official cash rate sits at 5.5 percent but there are predictions it could go higher.  

"As interest rates continue to construct economic activity, there remains hopes for reduced inflationary pressure as we head into 2024," Centrix managing director Keith McLaughlin said.  

"The ongoing financial conditions continue to have an impact on credit trends for both Kiwi consumers and businesses alike.  

"As we near the end of the year and begin turning our sights towards the Christmas and summer period, these concerns are likely to be weighing heavy on many minds across the country."