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Retail card spending nudges up in May

12 June 2018

Retail card spending nudged up for the month of May, Stats NZ said today. The modest 0.4 percent increase was led by consumer spending on household essentials such as groceries and fuel.

When adjusted for seasonal effects, total retail card values rose 0.4 percent in May 2018, following a substantial 2.2 percent fall in the April month.

“Retailers outside the realm of food and fuel trading have had a relatively quiet month with half the retail industries showing falls” retail trade manager Sue Chapman said.

“Spending on personal and household services and non-retail industries including travel, health, and wholesale also dropped in May” Ms Chapman added.

Card spending rose in three of the six retail industries. The largest movements were:

• consumables, including grocery and liquor retailing, up $28 million (1.4 percent) – rebounding from April's 3.6 percent fall

• fuel, up $6 million (0.9 percent)

• apparel, including clothing, footwear, and accessories, down $5 million (1.8 percent).

Core retail spending (which excludes vehicle-related industries) rose 0.4 percent in May 2018, following a 2.1 percent fall in April 2018.

Actual retail spending using electronic cards was $5.2 billion in May 2018, up $208 million (4.2 percent) from May 2017.

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

As mentioned in Retail card spending falls 2.2 percent in April (the news story for the April 2018 electronic card transactions release), we have continued to investigate the data. As a result, we accessed updated information from our suppliers and revised published data from June 2017 to April 2018 inclusive.

We regularly review electronic card transactions data received and examine inconsistent results to ensure releases are economically representative of retail spending in New Zealand.

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

For more information about these statistics:

• Visit Electronic card transactions: May 2018

• See CSV files for download


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