Spending through Paymark hit a new daily high last week, reaching $297.5 million through 5.1 million card transactions on Friday 20 December.
The running total pre-Christmas spend since 13 November, 40 days so far, is $8317 million, up 3.4% on a comparable group of merchants in 2018. The running pre-Christmas total is expected to surpass 2018 levels today, with another trading day still to come.
Spending last week and over the weekend was generally below year-ago levels, with the exception of Friday, a pattern consistent with an expected busy last two days.
In the seven days ending Sunday 22 December spending was down slightly against the same dates last year amongst Supermarkets (-0.2%) but up amongst Liquor retailers (+0.6%).
In the hospitality sector, spending during the week was up amongst Fast Food outlets (+4.9%), Restaurants and cafes (+1.5%) but down amongst Pubs and bars (-1.2%) and Accommodation providers (-3.1%).
Within the core non-food retail sector, spending was generally down on last year, including amongst Clothing retailers (-12.0%), Appliance stores (-10.6%) and Jewellers (-2.3%) but up amongst Booksellers (+4.9%).
Outside the retail sector, spending was up slightly last week, including amongst Automotive service providers (+7.4%), Dentists (+9.4%) and Drycleaners (+10.8%).