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Consumer Spending For First Two Weeks Of December "Flat"

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Dec 17 NZPA - Consumer spending for the first two weeks of December is just 1.7 percent ahead of last year at $1.76 billion, figures from electronics transactions firm Paymark show.

Retail spending remained flat, The Dominion Post quoted Paymark spokesman Paul Whiston saying.

He put some of the low spending growth down to the effect of lower petrol prices, and the economic climate.

It was possible "consumers will again hit the shops late this year, as they did in 2003 when Christmas Day last fell on a Thursday".

Meanwhile, The New Zealand Herald reported concerns from financial adviser and author Lisa Dudson at the number of people relying on their credit cards to pay for Christmas.

A MasterCard Worldwide Christmas Spend Survey found 52 percent of New Zealanders planning to use their credit cards in the Christmas period, with 25 percent putting all or most of their expenses on the card.

While 80 percent of respondents said they were looking to rein in their Christmas budgets because of strained finances, they were still looking to spend an average of $945 over the festive season.

Ms Dudson said it was scary and disheartening to be working in budgeting advice now as many people in financial difficulties would not have been had they been more careful.

She advised people to pay cash and said the key was to be conscious about what money was being spent on -- thinking of long-term consequences rather than short-term gains.

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