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Retail card spending increase

Retail spending using electronic cards was $4.9 billion in November 2015, up $176 million or 3.7 per cent from November 2014, Statistics New Zealand said today.

When adjusted for seasonal effects, retail spending was up 0.3 per cent in November 2015, following a flat result in October 2015 and a 0.9 percent rise in September.

“Card spending across the six retail industries was mixed in November, with four up and two down,” business indicators senior manager, Neil Kelly, said. “Hospitality had the largest rise, while durables fell the most.”

Core retail spending, which excludes the vehicle-related industries, rose 0.4 per cent in November 2015, following a 0.1 per cent rise in October.

The total value of electronic card spending, including the two non-retail industries (services and other non-retail), was up 0.2 per cent in November 2015. This follows a flat result in the total spending in October.

Trends for the total, retail, and core retail series have generally been rising since these series began in October 2002.

Values are only available at the national level, and are not adjusted for price changes.

According tosmartpay, tap and go, contactless, purchase, credit card, payment at Westpac senior economist Satish Ranchhod, November’s increase comes on top of solid gains earlier in 2015, and leaves the level of spending up a 4.5 per cent over the past year. “While that rate of growth is down a bit from earlier in 2015, it’s still a very healthy rate of spending growth, especially in light of the softness in prices,” he says.

“Looking at the breakdown of spending, we’re left with a generally positive picture of household spending. Over November we saw continued gains in spending on consumables. There were also solid gains in spending on hospitality and apparel.  There was some pull back in spending on durables and, in light of signs that the housing market is losing some momentum, it will be worth watching to see if this continues over the coming months.

“High levels of migration and strong tourist demand continue to provide support spending. Households will also be benefitting from continued price discounting in the run up to Christmas. But while spending is looking firm right now, as we look to 2016 we do expect to see some softening in spending growth. Employment growth has already slowed. In addition, the economy will face significant headwinds over the coming year from softness in global trade, drought, and the levelling off of the Canterbury rebuild.”

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