Negative week in spending

3d illustration: sunglasses. Concept of a cash registerRetail spending for the week ending March 1 has fallen for the first time this year, according to BNZ’s MarketView report.

The BNZ MarketView measures national consumer spending trends in the core retail categories and is based on the monthly credit and debit card spending of BNZ customers.

Shoppers spent 0.88 per cent in the week, the first drop since late December, 2014.

“There has now been two straight weeks of slow retail in New Zealand, however, spending for the last 30 days is still up 1.48 per cent over the same 30 day period last year,” said BNZ’s Michael Stechman.

Retailers seeing the largest increases in sales last week were sports and camping equipment, up 9.9 per cent; liquor, 9.1 per cent; and hardware and homeware, up 3.8 per cent.

Despite the MarketView report excluding petrol, Stechman says that even if petrol prics continue to rise the low prices from earlier this year will still help consumers.

“Airline companies, who purchase their fuel in advance, are starting to announce large profits and savings due to this. This looks like it will have a flow on effect to the price of air travel, with many airlines willing and able to offer competitive rates,” he said.

“It will be interesting to see how consumer spending interacts with these cheaper deals. Will kiwis stick to their standard travel budgets and keep hold of their savings or will more travel be undertaken as a result?”

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