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Spending in Canada was up 4.26% year-over-year in the last quarter of 2017, reports Moneris Solutions Corporation, a processor of debit and credit payments. This result is consistent with the rest of the year, with 2017 posting an overall increase of 4.14% compared with 2016.

“While there are always variables when it comes to the economy on both the national and international front, we foresee the year ahead to continue on this trend of modest, steady growth,” said Angela Brown, president and CEO of Moneris, in a release.

Read: Where to watch U.S. corporates

The fourth quarter was positive for most provinces, though spending in Newfoundland was down 0.16% over the same time last year. British Columbia, Quebec and Ontario exhibited the largest year-over-year increases in the final quarter, up 6.14%, 5.48% and 4.43%, respectively.

Further, both credit card and debit card usage are up over the same time last year, with increases of 5.81% and 1.45%, respectively.

Black Friday outsells Boxing Day

The month of November had the strongest spending increase in Q4—up 5.69% over 2016—as Canadians kicked off the holiday season with a strong Black Friday. Dec. 22 was 2017’s busiest shopping day, with the highest number of transactions made. Boxing Day also came in strong, with an increased spend of 8.97% over last year, but both Black Friday and Dec. 22 eclipsed Boxing Day in terms of overall spend. Both days had 45% higher spending volumes than Boxing Day.

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Visitors to Canada spent more

International visitors spent more in the fourth quarter of 2017 than during the same period of 2016, with an increase in volume of 14.44%.

Read: Canada, U.S. won’t drive global growth over next two years: Scotiabank

Travellers from the U.S. continued to spend the most in Canada, showing a 15.08% increase over the final quarter of 2016. Spending from visitors from China was up 15.70%, Mexico up 62.80%, and the U.K. up 10.66%. Comparing 12-month data from 2017 to 2016, international spending has increased 8.88%.

Contactless usage climbs

Contactless payment solutions remained a popular choice throughout the final quarter of the year, boasting a 45.75% increase in volume, and a 42.45% increase in transactions compared with the last quarter of 2016.

While these are significant increases, they are much lower than the adoption of consumer spending on contactless as reported in Q4 2016, which was up 120.73% year over year.

Originally published on Advisor.ca
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