Li­ons tour leaves tills (and ears) ring­ing

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - TOM PULLAR-STRECKER

The Li­ons’ tour helped Kiwi busi­nesses earn a qual­ity ’’draw’’ at the tills in June.

The hospi­tal­ity in­dus­try got a big boost from vis­it­ing fans, but ASB bank said it was dis­ap­pointed vis­it­ing rugby fans didn’t other­wise splash out.

Sta­tis­tics NZ said sea­son­allyad­justed re­tail spend­ing with banks cards in June was flat, when com­pared with May.

Higher spend­ing in ho­tels, mo­tels, bars, and restau­rants helped to off­set a drop in fuel prices.

‘‘The in­creased spend­ing on hospi­tal­ity could be largely a re­sult of the in­flux of Bri­tish and Ir­ish Li­ons fans,’’ Sta­tis­tics NZ busi­ness man­ager Sue Chap­man said.

The Li­ons tour kicked off on June 3 and ended on Satur­day. Spend­ing in the hospi­tal­ity in­dus­try rose $23 mil­lion, or 2.4 per cent, while spend­ing on fuel dropped $19m, or 3.2 per cent, thanks to lower oil prices and a rise in the New Zealand dol­lar.

Be­cause fuel is im­ported, the change in the mix in spend­ing dur­ing the month is a pos­i­tive one for Kiwi busi­nesses, even if over­all spend­ing was flat.

‘‘Core’’ re­tail spend­ing – which ex­cludes spend­ing on ve­hi­clere­lated in­dus­tries – rose 0.8 per cent in June, af­ter a 0.3 per cent fall in May.

When com­pared with June last year, to­tal spend­ing us­ing elec­tronic cards was up 4.5 per cent at $4.9b.

ASB bank said the over­all fig­ures were weaker-thanex­pected and Li­ons tour-re­lated spend­ing had failed to reach ex­pected highs.

It had ex­pected spend­ing to rise 0.8 per cent, rather than re­main flat on May.

The ex­pected boost from the Li­ons tour only boosted hospi­tal­ity spend­ing, while other cat­e­gories un­der­whelmed, it said.

‘‘In par­tic­u­lar, ap­parel spend­ing fell 0.9 per cent for the month, whereas in the pre­vi­ous Li­ons tour this cat­e­gory saw strong growth. Also, growth in the con­sum­ables cat­e­gory was weaker than ex­pected.

‘‘This may in­di­cate that Li­ons fans’ bud­gets were tight, per­haps due to the weak pound and/or in­flated ho­tel prices. As a re­sult, they may have pri­ori­tised ac­com­mo­da­tion, eat­ing out, and beer, over other pur­chases,’’ ASB said.

More than 20,000 rugby fans are be­lieved to have trav­elled to New Zealand for the Li­ons tour.

PHOTOSPORT

More than 20,000 rugby fans are be­lieved to have trav­elled to New Zealand for the Li­ons tour.

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