An end-of-year bounce back from Covid-19 restrictions and cost rises helped drive a record retail electronic spend of $711 million in central Hamilton last year.
That figure – not adjusted for inflation – was up just under 11.8% on a year earlier compared to the official consumer price index rise for 2022 of 7.2%.
But there were notes of caution as the number of retail merchants dropped by 13 over the year.
Hamilton Central Business Association general manager Vanessa Williams said the record result followed big jumps in the September and December quarters as Covid-19 restrictions eased.
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“We ended the year on the high. We were up 27% for the December quarter. Some of this was rebound spend, particularly for accommodation and hospitality.”
The bulk of growth in that sector – where the annual spend rose 13.7% to $116 million – was in accommodation as people started to travel more in a less restricted environment, she said.
Williams also highlighted a 37% rise in fuel and automotive spending to $62 million (with a significant $10 rise per transaction) and an 8.55% rise in spending on home and…
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