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Timaru District Quarterly economic monitor - September 2020

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Consumer Spending

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Highlights for Timaru District

  • Electronic card consumer spending in Timaru District, as measured by Marketview, decreased by -1.2% over the year to September 2020 compared to the previous year. This compares with an decrease of -2.7% in New Zealand.

National overview

Consumer spending roared back into life after lockdown, growing 3.0%pa in the September 2020 quarter according to Marketview data. Declines in spending categories such as hospitality and accommodation were offset by growth in retail spending, particularly in the food and home improvement segments. Despite the impressive bounce back, considerable risk exists for spending to soften as the wage subsidy and COVID-19 Income Relief Payment benefit come to an end, and consumers feel the need to hold onto their wallets. The December quarter is expected to provide something of a litmus test for retailers – if spending levels hold up relatively well, it may relieve some of the pressure on employers to make further staff cuts in the new year.