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New Zealand’s retail card spending shows recovery

Retail card spending generated $6.2 billion in October, up 8.2 per cent year-on-year, according to Stats NZ. 

Retail card spending during the first 10 months of the year reached $54.4 billion, dropping only 0.9 per cent year-on-year, despite the advent of Covid-19-related lockdowns.

“Several months of higher retail spending have almost made up for record low spending in April, though some industries have fared better than others,” said Sue Chapman, business statistics manager at Stats NZ. 

In the F&B sector, electronic card spending surged 8.8 per cent ($79 million) year on year, recording the second highest monthly spend for this sector in more than 20 years. 

According to Chapman, the growth started when Auckland moved down to Covid-19 alert level 1 on October 8, loosening previous restrictions on social gatherings. More people went out for events and celebrations. 

Meanwhile, the durable goods sector recorded the strongest increase by category, up $812 million, or 17 per cent year-on-year. 

“Long-lasting goods businesses saw sales increases in items such as gardening and outdoor furniture as well as camping and sporting goods,” Chapman said. “People are setting up their homes, gearing up for fun summer activities and domestic travel, using money that may have been spent on overseas travel.”

The consumables sector soared 9.5 per cent, with supermarket and grocery stores up $137 million and liquor sales up $42 million. 

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