Backwards slide in weekly spending

credit card, spendingFor the week ending March 29, retail spending throughout the country fell 0.19 per cent when compared to the same week last year, suggesting consumers were fairly reserved with their spending in the lead up to the Easter Weekend, according to the BNZ MarketView report.

The food consumables category was the only one to have experienced growth this past week, up 2.5 per cent. The non-food consumables category suffered a 1.1 per cent drop in spending, while durables fell by 7.2 per cent and fuel was down 11.4 per cent.

Those who did see increases were department stores, up 3.8 per cent; supermarkets and dairies grew 3.2 per cent; and other food rose 2.6 per cent.

The NZ dollar continues to gain on the Aussie. On Tuesday the NZ dollar was recorded at A99.7 cents, the highest it has traded at since 1985, with the effect this might have on retail yet to be seen.

According to BNZ, there are several possibilities – will local holiday goers opt to venture out of New Zealand for their upcoming holidays, to the detriment of local tourism based operators? Will travelling New Zealanders delay returning home until they get a more favourable exchange rate for their hard-earned overseas work? Will local retailers decide to charge more due to their increased exporting charges?

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