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Non-retail drives decrease in electronic spending

Embargoed until 10:45am – 23 April 2008

Non-retailing industries drive decrease in electronic card spending

The total Electronic Card Transaction (ECT) series decreased 1.0 percent in value on a seasonally adjusted basis in March 2008 compared with February 2008, Statistics New Zealand said today. Non-retailing industries were the main driver of the decrease in the total ECT series.

Easter generally falls in April but occasionally occurs in March, as it did this year. The two fewer trading days due to Easter may have contributed to the decrease in the value of the ECT series in March. It is not possible to quantify the impact of this change on card transaction statistics.

The value of seasonally adjusted electronic card transactions for the total retail series was down 0.3 percent in March 2008. The consumables industry increased during March, but not by enough to offset decreases in the durables and apparel industries.

The seasonally adjusted value of core retail electronic card transactions (which excludes the motor vehiclerelated industries) was down 0.1 percent in March 2008. The trend for the core retail series has eased since July 2007.

In March 2008, there were 85 million electronic transactions totalling $4.7 billion.

The Electronic Card Transaction series measures the number and value of debit, credit and charge card transactions with New Zealand-based merchants. It is a census of all card transactions processed within New Zealand. Transactions by overseas card-holders in New Zealand are included; transactions by New Zealand card-holders overseas are excluded. The data is released as an experimental series and Statistics NZ acknowledges the cooperation of the private sector in providing the data for publication.

Geoff Bascand

Government Statistician

23 April 2008


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