Electronic card retail spending falls in May

visa-mastercard-credit-card-amexRetail spending using credit and debit cards was $4.8 billion in May 2016, up $152 million or 3.3 per cent from May 2015. When adjusted for seasonal effects, retail spending fell 0.3 per cent in May 2016 compared with April 2016, following a 0.8 per cent rise in April, according to figures from Statistics New Zealand.

This is the first decline since April 2015, Statistics New Zealand said.

Of the six retail industries, the decrease in spending was in the fuel industry, down $40 million or 6.6 per cent.

“Despite recent rises, the price of fuel is still around 10 cents lower than what it was in May last year,” said Neil Kelly, business indicators senior manager.

Satish Ranchhod, Westpac senior economist, said much of this month’s decline is a natural response following some very large increases seen in April, which potentially reflected the early timing of Easter this year.

“For instance, a good chunk of the decline in total spending was related to non-retail/online spending and services – two categories which saw very large increase in April,” Ranchhod said.

The largest movements in May 2016 were in fuel, down $8.9 million or 1.5 per cent; consumables, up $7.3 million or 0.4 per cent; and hospitality, down $6.4 million or 0.7 per cent. Both the fuel and hospitality industries had increases (1.7 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively) in April 2016. Core retail spending, which excludes the vehicle-related industries, fell 0.1 per cent in May 2016, after a 0.3 per cent rise in April.

The total value of electronic card spending, including the two non-retail industries (services, and other non-retail), was down 0.6 per cent in May. This follows a rise of 1.3 per cent in April 2016. Trends for the total, retail, and core retail series have generally been rising since these series began in October 2002.

You have 7 articles remaining. Unlock 15 free articles a month, it’s free.