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COVID-19
Spend Report.

How we are spending as a population from before and through COVID-19.

6 July 2020

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How is our spend data produced?

Data Ventures is working together with the major card processing companies in New Zealand.

Using the aggregated and anonymised card spend data[*] provided to us, along with Stats NZ expertise, Data Ventures has created spend estimates in New Zealand down to council level. Read more in the footnotes page.

Spend – a view of the whole nation

As our population reacts to the environment of COVID-19, there is evidence of change in spending patterns around New Zealand. Because of that, it’s now worth looking at our country as a whole. To do that we have highlighted the total spend and the average spend per transaction to show the changing spend behaviours as we continue through COVID-19 Alert levels.

Total spend

0%

CHANGE IN THE
LAST 2 WEEKS

Avg. spend per transaction

0%

CHANGE IN THE
LAST 2 WEEKS

Total spending and average spend per transaction has remained fairly consistent over the past couple of weeks. This suggests that Kiwis are settling into a new routine post level 1 lockdown and not buying large quantities of goods and services due to uncertainty of supply that was evident during the earlier lockdown period.

NOTE: The vertical lines represent COVID-19 Alert Levels as they progressed, starting at the first line when NZ borders closed, through to our current alert level.

Our Spend – index during COVID‑19

In this section we explore our spend index[*] around the purchasing behaviours of New Zealand in six key categories during COVID-19.

Our index measure is created using the combination of transactional value and volume over a period of time. This allows us to get an idea of the index between each day of 2020 in this report compared to similar days from before the COVID-19 period.

We have grouped various industry spend classifications into six categories. You can read the footnotes where we highlight what industry classifications fit in what categories.

hospitality

consumables

durables

fuel

apparel

services

NOTE: The vertical lines represent COVID-19 Alert Levels as they progressed, starting at the first line when NZ borders closed, through to our current alert level.

Our spend – before COVID‑19 and now

By looking at the daily spend index[*] across the country, we can get a good idea of how behaviour has changed in response to COVID-19. The data presented here shows the changes for six categories in New Zealand - Hospitality. Consumables, Durables, Fuel, Apparel, and Services.

In this part of the report, we cover off three periods: a normal week in early 2020, two weeks ago, and one week ago. We have broken out the comparisons into two: one comparing last week to a normal week in early 2020 to see the changes compared to earlier in the year, and the other comparing what has happened over the last two weeks. From doing this, these are the insights we have discovered.

hospitality

1 week ago v Jan 2020/Feb 2020

1 week ago

Jan 2020/Feb 2020

1 week ago v 2 weeks ago

1 week ago

2 weeks ago

Spending in Hospitality is still down from what we saw in the beginning of the year however it was almost identical with the previous week. Seasonality will play a part in this dip from earlier in the year.

consumables

1 week ago v Jan 2020/Feb 2020

1 week ago

Jan 2020/Feb 2020

1 week ago v 2 weeks ago

1 week ago

2 weeks ago

Spending in Consumables is down compared with earlier in the year. The week on week comparison is also very similar overall with spikes in spending differing by day. This could be a reflection of the flexibility of Kiwis working from home on different days, causing the spending spikes to differ on different days.

durables

1 week ago v Jan 2020/Feb 2020

1 week ago

Jan 2020/Feb 2020

1 week ago v 2 weeks ago

1 week ago

2 weeks ago

Similar to last week spending in Durables is up on the weekend and down on the weekdays compared to earlier in the year. The week on week pattern is fairly similar. This suggests that more home improvement is done on the weekend as there isn’t the same number of sunlight hours to perform the work during the week.

fuel

1 week ago v Jan 2020/Feb 2020

1 week ago

Jan 2020/Feb 2020

1 week ago v 2 weeks ago

1 week ago

2 weeks ago

Fuel consumption when compared to earlier in the year is still down. Fuel consumption is seasonal as more road trips occur during summer. The week on week comparison is similar except for the days leading up to the school holidays with a noticeable bump.

apparel

1 week ago v Jan 2020/Feb 2020

1 week ago

Jan 2020/Feb 2020

1 week ago v 2 weeks ago

1 week ago

2 weeks ago

Spending on Apparel is up on the weekends when compared with earlier in the year and slightly up on the week by week comparison. The increase in weekend spending could minor the seasonal impact we see in durables spending where the bulk of spend occurs during the weekend because of the reduction of sunlight hours.

services

1 week ago v Jan 2020/Feb 2020

1 week ago

Jan 2020/Feb 2020

1 week ago v 2 weeks ago

1 week ago

2 weeks ago

Spending on service is almost back to levels we saw earlier in the year. The week by week data is also showing a similar level of activity. Could this be a sign of Kiwis going back to their pre-lockdown routines?

The change of spend index across regions before and during COVID‑19.

In this section we explore the spend index[*] patterns in the regions of New Zealand during COVID-19.

Our index measure is created using the combination of transactional value and volume over a period of time. This allows us to get an idea of the index between each day of 2020 in this report compared to similar days from before the COVID-19 period.

northland

auckland

waikato

bay of plenty

gisborne

hawke's bay

taranaki

manawatu-whanganui

wellington

west coast

canterbury

otago

southland

tasman

nelson

marlborough

NOTE: The vertical lines represent COVID-19 Alert Levels as they progressed, starting at the first line when NZ borders closed, through to our current alert level.

The change of spend across regions last week compared to before COVID‑19

The purpose of this comparison is to see how we are tracking in our spending behaviour changes throughout COVID-19 and its various Alert Levels (1 through to 4). As Alert Levels are escalated/de-escalated, this is a good way to understand the impacts on New Zealand’s spend behaviour over the duration of COVID-19.

1 week ago v jan 2020/feb 2020

Our Data Ventures spend index indicates that it is still noticeably lower than earlier in the year. The rural regions of New Zealand are still the areas to be hit the hardest, and this could be explained by the reduction in domestic tourism. With the school holidays in the next report, we should be able to understand domestic tourism activity levels based on the performance by the rural regions.

The change to the spend index across regions across the last two weeks

The purpose of this comparison is to see how we are tracking in our spending behaviour changes throughout COVID-19 and its various Alert Levels (1 through to 4). As Alert Levels are escalated/de-escalated, this is a good way to understand the week-to-week impacts on New Zealand’s spend behaviour.

1 week ago v 2 weeks ago

On a week by week basis we are starting to see signs of the school holidays impacting on spend across the country. Traditional holiday hotspots such as the upper North Island, Nelson, and Otago (for the ski season) are trending upwards. As expected the urban areas where the likely domestic tourists are leaving from is trending down. Unfortunately the West Coast and Southland are lagging behind the other regions.