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The latest retail report for the March 2024 quarter shows that retail card spending in the region increased by 1.1%, compared to the same quarter in 2023.

This growth is notably lower than the national average growth rate of 3.8%. Annually, electronic card retail spending in the region grew by 1.7% over the year ending March 2024, just behind the national growth rate of 2.8%. This growth, however, did not keep with the 4% annual inflation rate indicating a real decline in the value of retail spending over the year.

For the year ending March 2024, the region’s annual electronic card retail spending totalled $1,791 million, a 1.7% increase compared to the previous year. This was below the 4% inflation rate, indicating negative real growth in retail spending across the New Zealand economy over the year.

Local spending comprised of 75% of the total, amounting to $1,363 million, which is 2% higher than the previous year. Supporting local businesses and purchasing local are crucial in supporting our region, as the economy continues to cool and inflationary pressures continue to put pressure on households.

The top five spenders into our region accounting for 15% of total annual spending combined for the year ending March 2024 were:
>> Horowhenua District
>> Tararua District
>> Wellington Region
>> Rangitīkei District
>> Auckland Region

The detailed analysis of spending patterns revealed that Palmerston North city’s Terrace End precinct experienced the highest annual growth rates of 4.5% while in the Manawatū district, areas outside of Feilding saw a 4.8% increase.

Spending on groceries and liquor, cafes and restaurants, and accommodation supported the region’s growth, while home and recreational retail saw a decline of 8%. The trend indicates a shift in consumer behavior towards essential spending amidst economic pressures.

To view the full quarterly electronic card retail spending report for the period ending March 2024, click here.

View the quarterly retail report for March 2024 here

This was published in the 60 seconds with CEDA.nz newsletter on 16/5/2024 Sign up here to receive our newsletters directly

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