Sharing what we know so you can be in the know

First Half 2016 Wrap-Up

Auckland, Tuesday 2 August 2016

Underlying spending through Paymark was 5.5% higher in July than in July 2015. Once seasonal factors were taken into account, this amounted to a 0.7% growth rate from June 2016.

This marks an impressive continuation of spending growth through the first half of 2016, and of a momentum that dates back to first half 2009 (see Figure 1).

Spending is always less in the first half of the year relative to the previous second half but, once this seasonal effect is taken into account, spending was up 2.3% in the January-June six months this year. The half year growth rate has been above zero for 14 half years now, and above 2% for the last 7 half years.

At Paymark we take into account the migration of large customers to or from the Paymark network which would skew the data. This adjusted figure is reported as “underlying spending”.

First Half 2016 versus First Half 2015

Image of card transacting 17.7%Image of percentage growth


17.7% increase in accommodation

Image of growth 14.8%Image of percentage growth

Food and Beverage

14.8% increase in Food and Beverage services (i.e. cafes, bars etc)

Image of growth 11.9%Image of percentage growth

Motor vehicle

11.9% increase in motor vehicle and parts retailing

Image of house 11.5%Image of percentage growth

Electrical goods

11.5% increase in electrical and electronic goods retailing

Half year underlying spending growth through Paymark

However, while a spending increase has been a consistent theme in recent years, spending growth is by no means consistent week by week. This is shown in Figure 2 where a rolling seven days total underlying spend through Paymark is compared with the same seven days in 2015.

The changing fall of holidays has a significant effect on annual growth rates. Evident in the graph are big swings in annual growth rates due to changing dates for New Year’s Day, Easter, Queen’s Birthday and school holidays. These swings are even more noticeable on a regional basis as the timing of trips away vary from year to year. However, the annual rate of growth has consistently returned to the 7.3% annual average rate of the first half.

Running 7-day annual growth of underlying spending through Paymark

Of course, other factors will also affect spending. For example, it would appear that Lotto and inclement weather combined to dent spending growth in at times during July, with weather in particular likely to be behind the slippage in the last few days of July.

On a regional basis, spending growth between July 2015 and July 2016 was strongest in Bay of Plenty, Gisborne and Hawke’s Bay and weakest in West Coast, Palmerston North and Nelson. There were two key overall driving forces in the economy during the first half of 2016 - housing and tourism.

Figure 3 shows the regional record for two sectors that service these parts of the economy. Annual spending growth was 11.4% through combined merchants in the Home Decorating and Hardware, Floor Covering Retailing, Wholesale & Trade Hardware & Building Supplies, Plumbing Services, Furniture Stores and Appliance/Whiteware sectors. This growth was strongest in Otago and Bay of Plenty.

Annual spending growth was 14.8% amongst Food and Beverage service merchants (i.e. restaurants, cafes, bars etc). In part this high growth is due to continued pick up of contactless card payment but it is also reflective of strong tourism spending. Otago and Bay of Plenty were also amongst the regions with strongest growth within this sector as well. Conversely growth in both sectors was relatively low in Canterbury.

Annual underlying spending growth through Paymark by merchants in first half 2016

PAYMARK All Cards Data

Figure 1: Paymark All Cards data (July 2016 versus July 2015)

Download CSVDownload CSV

Transactions in Millions
  • Auckland/Northland
  • Waikato
  • BOP
  • Gisborne
  • Taranaki
  • Hawke's Bay
  • Wanganui
  • Palmerston North
  • Wairarapa
  • Wellington
  • Nelson
  • Marlborough
  • West Coast
  • Canterbury
  • South Canterbury
  • Otago
  • Southland

* Large clients moving to or from Paymark within last 12 months excluded from change calculation

Market Reporting

With insights that will help you be more profitable and productive, Market Reporting benchmarks your business against the broader industry in which you compete. See why it's used by firms ranging from small owner/operators right through to chains with nation-wide stores.

Sign up