10 Sep 2013

Credit card spending shows growing confidence

7:04 am on 10 September 2013

An increasing number of people are using their credit cards to make purchases, highlighting a growing sense of confidence in the economy, Paymark chief executive Paul Whitson says.

Paymark, which processess nearly three-quarters of all electronic transcations, says spending hit $4.07 billion last month.

Paymark acting chief executive Paul Whitson said spending during the past three months returned to levels unseen since the global financial crisis hit five years ago.

"Credit card spending is increasing at a higher rate than debit card spending. That can also indicate that there is more confidence in terms of buying on credit and paying later," Mr Whitson said.

"What we saw during the GFC (global financial crisis) is that there was a higher debit card spend increase than credit, which tended to indicate some conservatism around people only spending what they had in their bank accounts. So there are some positive signs in terms of spending behaviour."

Meanwhile, the Christchurch rebuild and an active housing market in Auckland has spurred a 16% increase in building and hardware spending. Spending in cafes and bars rose nearly 12%.

Amongst the regions, spending rose 12% in Marlborough, 10.5% in Palmerston North and 9.5% in Canterbury.