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New Zealanders spent more on cards in March

(Source: Bigstock)

With restrictions easing on international travel, card spending increased last month according to Stats NZ.

Non-retail industries such as travel agencies and tour services, wholesaling, and health and pharmaceutical enterprises reported an increase of 14.5 per cent in seasonally-adjusted card spending at $223 million.

However, the biggest increase was seen in the services sector such as personal care, maintenance, funeral and other services. Since last year’s December quarter, spending rose 6.6 per cent to $57 million in this category.

Credit and debit card transactions on vehicles also rose 2.7 per cent in the past month reaching $5 million.

“The increase coincided with announcements about the upcoming easing of restrictions on international travel,” said business performance statistics manager Ricky Ho.

Total retail spending fell for the second consecutive month, this time by 1.3 per cent to $77 million. Spending on consumables (3.3 per cent), apparel (6.9 per cent) and fuel (0.1 per cent) declined.

“The data shows us that the March quarter is the second quarter in a row to see a decrease in groceries and liquor spending,” said Ho.

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