NZ spending on credit, debit cards rises in August, driven by hospitality
By Paul McBeth
Sept. 9 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealanders increased their spending on credit and debit cards in August, with a pick-up in the hospitality sector driving core retail expenditure in the month.
The value of core retail sales on electronic cards, which strips out spending on fuel and vehicle related items, rose 0.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted $3.78 billion in August, adding to the 0.6 percent increase a month earlier, Statistics New Zealand said. Including fuel and vehicle spending, total retail spending rose 0.5 percent to $4.69 billion.
Credit and debit card spending on hospitality rose 1.3 percent to $743 million in the month, while spending on consumable goods such as food and liquor rose 0.6 percent to $1.63 billion. Spending on durable items edged up 0.1 pecent to $1.11 billion, while apparel spending fell 0.4 percent to $289 million.
Last month government figures showed retail sales for the June quarter rose 1.2 percent, beating estimates, as both values and volumes rose at the fastest pace in two years. An upbeat economic outlook has bolstered household confidence, though increased activity hasn't yet led to rising consumer prices, with the pace of inflation tamer than the Reserve Bank's expectations.
Today's figures showed unadjusted core retail sales were up 4.5 percent at $3.62 billion from August 2013, with hospitality showing the biggest gain, up 11 percent at $734 million from a year earlier. Spending on consumable goods was up 4.9 percent at $1.62 billion from a year earlier. Total retail sales rose 4.1 percent to $4.5 billion, while all spending, including services and non-retail industries, was up 3.2 percent at $6 billion.
The number of core retail transactions rose 5.9 percent to 87 million in August from the same month a year earlier, and was up 5.1 percent across all industries at 119 million. The average value per transaction was $50 in the month.
Spending on debit cards made up 56.4 percent of the total, up from 56.1 percent in July.