The data from the BNZ Marketview Weekly Consumer Spending Series for the weeks immediately before and after Christmas indicates that consumer spending only really got going in the final week before Christmas.
It also shows that the growth in spending by BNZ credit and debit card customers on Hardware & Homeware continued to outperform the overall consumer spending picture:
Week ending 18 December 2016
Week ending 25 December 2016
Week ending 1 January 2017
For the week ending 18 December, overall spending was down and transactions (+0.5%) were only slightly above 2015 levels.
The following week saw a much bigger hike in growth for both value and transactions (+12.9%), while the third week in question saw further gains in value but much less pronounced growth in volume (+4.2%).
BNZ Marketview cautions that the numbers for the last two weeks are likely a result of Boxing Day falling in the last week of December, whereas in 2015 Boxing Day was in the same week as Christmas.
In terms of traditional spending high points, BNZ Marketview shows negative spending growth on Christmas Eve (–17.7% by value compared to 2015 with transactions –11.7%).
And, although the final week of the year was a big one, in part because it included Boxing Day, this year, spending on Boxing Day itself was slightly down with value –0.4% and transactions –4.6%.
Instead, suggest the series’ spending stats, 2016 may have experienced a longer period of post-Christmas spending, thanks to an extension driven by seasonal sales.