Electronic card spending rises

credit cardRetail spending using electronic cards in New Zealand rose 6.2 per cent to $5 billion in March, led by increased spending in the hospitality and consumables industries, a report from Statistics New Zealand revealed.

“The only decrease came from the fuel industry,” said business indicators senior manager, Neil Kelly.

When adjusted for seasonal effects, retail spending rose 0.1 per cent in March 2016 compared to the month before. This follows a 0.6 percent rise in February.

Seasonally adjusted card spending rose in four of the six retail industries. The largest movements in March 2016 were in the hospitality sector, up 0.4 per cent to $3.5 million; consumables, up 0.2 per cent to $2.8 million; and apparel, down 2.3 per cent to $7.0 million.

Core retail spending, excluding vehicle-related industries, increased 0.2 per cent in March 2016, following a 1.2 per cent rise in February 2016.

The total value of electronic card spending, including the two non-retail industries, services, and other non-retail, was up 0.4 percent in March. This follows a fall of 0.1 percent in February 2016.

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.

Westpac senior economist, Satish Ranchhod, said March saw spending growth softening across most categories.

“But following large gains in the preceding month, some softening was to be expected,” he said. “Increase in petrol prices over the past month will also have put a bit of a brake on households’ spending in other areas.

Earnings and confidence in the economy will likely be dampened by the downturn in the dairy industry. Furthermore, tourist arrivals, which have been a key source of support for spending in areas such as hospitality appear to have levelled off recently.

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