11 Jun 2013

Paymark data points to rise in confidence

7:11 pm on 11 June 2013

Paymark says a rise in spending in May and sharp growth in credit card usage are signs of growing consumer confidence.

The company, which processes three-quarters of electronic card transactions, says spending grew 5.1% in May, compared with the same month last year, to just over $4 billion. An increase of just over $200 million.

Takeaway shops, cafes and restaurants were the strongest growth sectors, followed by accommodation.

Paymark said it was the fastest pace of spending in those sectors in May for five years.

Marlborough and Hawke's Bay were the best performing regions, helped by good weather with only the West Coast contracting.

Paymark sales and marketing head Paul Whiston said the trends are positive.

"We are starting to see a trend. Last year we averaged just over 3% increase year-on-year throughout the year, and to see that tracking at 4% to 5% for 2013 is a positive sign."

He said new 'tap and go' technology is having some impact on the figures as transactions that were once cash are now more likely to be processed as a credit transaction.

However, with debit card use up 4.5% and credit card use up 10.4%, Mr Whiston said the signs are there is a lot more activity and spending in the market.