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Card spending on grocery and liquor strong

Card spending on grocery and liquor strong in the March 2018 quarter

12 April 2018

Consumer spending on groceries and liquor rose at its fastest pace in more than seven years in the March 2018 quarter, up 2.2 percent, Stats NZ said today.

Total retail card spending was up 1.8 percent in the March 2018 quarter when adjusted for seasonal effects, after a 1.5 percent rise in the December 2017 quarter.

Spending rose across all six of the retail industries in the March quarter. The largest rises came from the consumables (grocery and liquor retailing) industry, up $125 million (2.2 percent) and the hospitality industry, up $87 million (2.9 percent).

“The rise in retail card spending in the March quarter was driven by an increase in grocery and liquor spending,” retail manager Sue Chapman said. “This was the largest increase in grocery and liquor retailing since December 2010 and coincided with a record increase in spending in the March month.

The higher quarterly retail spending also came at the same time as high international visitor arrivals in the January and February months,” Ms. Chapman said.

Core retail spending (which excludes the vehicle-related industries) rose 2.0 percent in the March 2018 quarter, after a 0.9 percent rise in the December 2017 quarter.

In actual terms, retail card spending was $16 billion in the March 2018 quarter up $649 million (4.3 percent) from the March 2017 quarter.

Values are only available at the national level, and are not adjusted for price changes.

Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 12 April 2018.

For more information about these statistics:

• Visit Electronic card transactions: March 2018

• See CSV files for download


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