Spending on hotels, motels, campgrounds, and other accommodation remains well below levels a year ago, before COVID-19, Stats NZ said today.
In September 2020 spending on accommodation, was down $54 million (29 percent) compared with September 2019.
“Spending on hotels, motels, and the like plunged in April after the border closed to international visitors in March to slow the spread of COVID-19 and sales have only partly recovered since then,” retail statistics manager Kathy Hicks said.
“Border restrictions have hit the hospitality sector, but accommodation has been affected more than restaurants, bars, and takeaways, with monthly spending on eating out now back in line with a year ago.”
Spending at restaurants, cafes, and takeaways (food and beverage services), was up $1.9 million (0.2 percent) compared to September 2019.
“Auckland moved into COVID-19 alert level 3 on 12 August, restricting eating out, but the region moved back down to level 2 with some extra restrictions on social gatherings on 31 August, giving the region’s hospitality sector a boost in September,” Ms Hicks said.
Card spending on furniture, electrical, hardware, and recreational goods surged to unusually high levels in September 2020.
The actual value of card spending on furniture, electrical, and hardware goods rose to $753 million in September, $149 million (25 percent) higher than September 2019.
“Increased spending on long-lasting goods could be the effects of pent-up demand following alert level 3 restrictions lifting in Auckland after August closures, along with New Zealanders returning from overseas setting up new homes,” Ms Hicks said.
This month’s rise in spending on long-lasting goods follows a fall in August when Aucklanders moved into alert level 3 for more than half of the month with card spending on restricted goods and services only.
Spending on recreational goods was also up $36 million (31 percent) compared with the September 2019 month.
Spending on medical and other health care services was $276 million in September 2020, up $45 million (20 percent) from September 2019.
Health care services include GPs, specialists, physiotherapy, optometry, ambulances, and dental care.
“One-third of New Zealand’s population couldn’t make face-to-face health care visits during alert level 3 in Auckland during August, so they had to wait until September to return to dentists, and other specialists,” Ms Hicks said.