February 12, 2020
Hannah Riley

Shopping as popular as ever

Even in the face of climate change, consumerism shows no signs of slowing down. In 2019 there was a total of 1.9 billion electronic card transactions, the value of which was $94 billion.

Signs of a slowing economy and pressure to address climate change has not curbed consumerism. In 2019 there was a total of $1.9 billion electronic card transactions, the value of which was $94 billion.1 

In December 2019, there were electronic card transactions of $9.3 billion. This is a significant increase compared to December 2018, which had $9 billion worth of transactions and December 2017, which had $8.9 billion. In two years there has been a $443 million increase in spending. 

The graphs show the three month percentage change in electronic card transaction values for December 2019 and December 2018. It shows that the biggest difference between December 2018 and December 2019 were in the durables and motor vehicles categories. In December 2018 there was a 4.47 percentage change in durables, where as in December 2019 there was a 6.52 percentage change. For motor vehicles, there was a 3.25 percentage change in December 2018 and a 5.17 percentage change in December 2019. The other categories three month percentage change remained relatively stable.

Paymark has shared that “a new peak spend was reached on Friday 20 December and spending over the six weeks leading into Christmas Day was up an underlying 4.6 percent on last year to $8.9 billion.”2

New Zealanders have apparently latched onto the American phenomena of Black Friday as Black Friday was busier than Boxing Day in terms of total dollars spent. On Thursday 26 December, spending through Paymark totalled $150 million, up 3.9 percent on an underlying basis on Boxing Day last year.3

While good for GDP figures, this increased consumption is unlikely to support us in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and addressing climate change. 

1 We note this graph does note incorporated inflation. 
2, 3 https://news.fuseworksmedia.com/e1f98583-14a1-4621-9e2e-29250668fd55