Rising prices rein in Christmas shoppers
12:30PM Monday December 17, 2007
By Edward Gay

Many shoppers appear to be leaving it to the last minute or hanging on to their money in the final run-up to Christmas.

Some basic costs have risen significantly in the past year and consumer spending was down in the latest figures released by Statistics NZ last week.

ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley said this year's Christmas spend is likely to be lower than last year's due to "death by a thousand paper cuts" with food, fuel and housing costs increasing.

"The housing market, now that it's slowing, the perception is there. We're not quite as gung-ho as we were and prepared to spend on the back of that," Mr Tuffley said.

He said last year consumers went on a spending binge around Christmas after earlier being "clobbered" by petrol prices. But with more and more people rolling off their fixed term mortgages and refinancing under higher mortgage rates, spending is slowing down.

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