Card spending almost unchanged in June

Overall retail card spending in New Zealand was almost unchanged in June 2019, with a bounceback in some industries offset by a drop in spending on fuel, according to Statistics NZ.

Seasonally adjusted, total card spending in June saw a 0.1 per cent increase, following a 0.2 per cent rise in May.

The largest movement came from a drop in the fuel industry, which was down 4.3 per cent to $26 million from May 2019.

Sue Chapman, retail statistics manager, said the fall in fuel retail spending coincided with lower fuel prices in June.

“On average, fuel prices were down around 8 cents per litre over the month,” Chapman said.

A rise in three industries was offset by a fall in three others. The largest increase came from the durables industry, up 1.7 per cent to $22 million.

Chapman said sales of durables, such as furniture, hardware, and appliances, bounced back from the fall in May.

Sales of apparel such as clothes and shoes also recovered in June, up 2.1 per cent, after falling 1.5 per cent in May.

Core retail spending, excluding vehicle-related industries, rose 0.4 per cent in June, after a 0.5 per cent fall in May.

The total value of electronic card spending, including the two non-retail categories, services and non-retail, rose 0.1 per cent in June, following a 0.2 per cent rise in May.


In actual terms, retail spending using electronic cards was $5.1 billion, up 1.1 per cent or $57 million from June 2018.

Retail card spending rose modestly in the June 2019 quarter, boosted by spending on food, drink, and hospitality.

When adjusted for seasonal effects, retail card spending was up 0.3 per cent in the June 2019 quarter, following a 0.9 per cent rise in the March 2019 quarter.

“Retail card spending has slowed over the last three quarters, after a strong rise in the September 2018 quarter,” Chapman said.

“In the June quarter, the rise in card spending was driven by people spending more on food and liquor.”

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