Retail spending dips in July
Retail spending on credit and debit cards dropped 0.5 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms from June, having been flat that month, Statistics New Zealand said.
Total spending, including non-retail industries, was down 0.7 per cent in July from a month earlier.
July’s decline was driven by a 6.1 per cent drop in spending on fuel, while hospitality dropped 0.5 per cent in the month compared to the 2.1 per cent rise it saw in June during the British and Irish Lions rugby tour.
“Spending on fuel in July was $543 million, the lowest monthly total since February 2015,” business indicators manager Sue Chapman said.
“Fuel prices were cheaper by almost 10 cents a litre in July compared with last month.”
The remaining four of the six retail industries rose in July, with apparel spending up 1.1 per cent, vehicles spending up 0.3 per cent and durables spending gaining 0.2 per cent.
The consumables industry – which includes grocery and liquor retailing – gained 0.1 per cent.
Actual retail spending climbed 2 per cent to $4.9 billion in July from the same month a year ago.
Card-holders across all industries made 137 million transactions in July versus 135 million in June. The average value was $49.