More than a third of Kiwis will use a credit card as the main way they will pay for Christmas this year.
Families are continuing to struggle and that may have taken the gloss off a day retailers were hoping would be a boomer.
Expert believes a cut to interest rates could happen early next year.
While Santa is loosening his belt, many Kiwis are tightening theirs.
Genesis Energy told Newshub price increases "reflect a range of rising costs to our business".
"What you're getting from big businesses instead is this ongoing slowing."
Kiwis are tightening their budgets and it's having devasting consequences for hospitality.
The Warehouse CEO said growing a grocery business is "incredibly hard" but is committed to doing it.
"For those group of people who have got a new house in the last couple of years, they are really feeling it."