Cost of living begins to bite
12:00PM Tuesday July 17, 2007

Restaurants and bars are noticing a drop off in patronage as people's discretionary dollar starts to dry up.

Bruce Robertson, chief executive of the Hospitality Association, says the organisation's latest survey of members shows things are getting tougher with a drop off in spending in accommodation, meals and drink.

He says with figures out yesterday showing inflation higher than expected and the continuing rise of the New Zealand dollar, there is every chance things will get worse before they get better.

He says KiwiSaver is also causing concern because people joining the scheme will have even less discretionary income.

The Reserve Bank reviews interest rates next week and economists predict Governor Alan Bollard will have no choice but to raise interest rates again.

- NEWSTALK ZB

From here .