Lower card spending was recorded in Auckland during August, brought on by heightened coronavirus alert levels within the city, according to Stats NZ.
The $530 million drop in retail card spending compared to the previous month reflected the fact that a third of New Zealand’s population resides in Auckland and were restricted in their in-presence spending during the lockdown.
The largest impact was absorbed by the hospitality industry, losing $192 million in sales on dining out and accommodation compared to the previous year. Spending on fuel fell by $107 million.
Conversely, grocery and liquor card spending increased by $265 million during the period.
“Kiwis stocked up on groceries and drinks before Auckland’s shift to Covid-19 alert level 3 and the rest of New Zealand’s shift to level 2,” said Stats NZ retail statistics manager Kathy Hicks.
“Spending on supermarkets has been strong for the last six months beginning with the record high in March, as they remained open as an essential service under all alert levels.”
An increase of spending on furniture was also registered during the month in question as New Zealanders continued to invest in their home environment.