NZ credit card spending’s consecutive increase

smartpay, tap and go, contactless, purchase, credit card, paymentNew Zealand spending on credit cards rose for a seventh month in July, posting its biggest annual gain since January 2008 before the global financial crisis set in and eroded households’ appetite to take on debt.

Total billings in NZ advanced 1.7 per cent to a seasonally adjusted $3.23 billion in July from June, and were 9.7 per cent higher than the same month a year earlier, according to Reserve Bank data. Of that, spending on NZ-issued cards increased 1.8 per cent to $2.85 billion, for an 8.7 per cent annual rise, while billings on overseas cards rose one per cent to $384 million, and were 18 per cent higher than July 2014. Total advances outstanding rose an annual 5.7 per cent to $6.44 billion.

Government figures this month showed the value of spending on electronic cards rose 6.8 per cent to $6.26 billion in July from the same month a year earlier, with core retail spending up 6.6 per cent. The data showed credit card transactions accounted for about 44.3 per cent of the 124 million transactions in the month.

Earlier this week, the ANZ Roy Morgan consumer confidence survey showed household sentiment was at a three-year low, amid growing pessimism about the country’s economic outlook.

A slump in global milk prices triggered the Reserve Bank to start cutting interest rates in June, and more recently prompted Fonterra Cooperative Group to slash its forecast payout to farmers, raising concerns the country’s economic growth may stall.


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