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New Zealand card spending rebounds in March

New Zealand card spending in March showed signs of recovery after falling in February due to the lockdown. 

According to Stats NZ, seasonally adjusted retail card spending surged 0.9 per cent compared to February.

“Despite spending constraints for the first week of March due to Auckland’s return to alert level 3 lockdown, card sales rebounded from a lacklustre February,” said Kathy Hicks, retail statistics manager.  

Spending on durable goods such as furniture, hardware, and appliances, recorded 1.8-per-cent growth, which is equivalent to $29 million. However, consumables and apparel sales declined by 3.3 per cent and 2.4 per cent respectively. 

“Recent monthly falls in the consumables sector reflect the softer growth in this industry following the much higher spending levels seen since the Covid-19 outbreak in March 2020,” Hicks added. 

Meanwhile, spending on food and beverages rose 34 per cent year on year, equivalent to a $223 million increase. 

“Food and beverage businesses have survived hardship over the year and managed to see spending increase this March to values seen pre-Covid,” Hicks said. 

“With New Zealand moving up Covid alert levels several times over the quarter, card spending was inevitably affected with all but the long-lasting durables industry sales falling from the December quarter.”

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