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Border closure continues to impact summer spending – Stats NZ

Kiwis’ spending fell across the board in February, Stats NZ has released

There was a fall in electronic card spending between January and February 2021. Seasonally adjusted total electronic card spending fell by $256 million (3.2 per cent).

“COVID-19 alert level restrictions on movements and activity can impact on the nation’s spending patterns,” business statistics manager Geraldine Duoba says.

 “The seven days of restrictions from the 14th of February, particularly the three days that Auckland spent in Level 3 and the rest of the country in Level 2, are likely to have driven lower spending levels in February.”

While seasonally adjusted spending dropped for all sectors, this fall was particularly driven by reduced spending in two main sectors. Kiwis spent $96 million (5.9 per cent) less on non-retail industries including postal services, travel agencies and medical services; and $17 million less (0.8 per cent) on consumable goods, such as supermarket, specialised food and liquor sales.

In actual terms, electronic card spending decreased by $632 million (8.1 per cent) between February 2020 and February 2021.

The hospitality sector has continued to be hit hard, dropping by $182 million (15.8 per cent). In particular, spending on accommodation shrank by $112 million (42.6 per cent).

“With the border closure preventing tourists from enjoying the kKwi summer, New Zealand’s hospitality industry is still feeling the pinch,” says Geraldine.

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