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Card spending dips in May

12 June 2019

Retail card spending dipped in May reversing a similar rise in April, Stats NZ said today.

When adjusted for seasonal effects, overall retail spending fell 0.5 percent in May, after a 0.6 percent rise in April. Retail card spending fell in most industries, with one modest rise coming from the vehicle-related industry in the May month.

The fall in sales this month followed the rise in retail card spending for April that coincided with the timing of Easter and the school holidays.

“Card spending has slowed over the last three months,” retail statistics manager Sue Chapman said.

“Since February 2019 we have seen relatively softer growth in the retail industries indicating an easing in domestic spending.

“Four industries fell this month and one was relatively unchanged compared to April. Most of these industry falls were quite small, with values only reducing by $10 million or less in each group.”

Of the four industries to dip in retail card spending, the largest decrease came from the durables industry, down 0.8 percent ($10 million). This industry includes furniture, hardware, appliances, computers, recreational-sporting goods, department stores, and pharmaceutical and other store-based retailing.

The next largest decrease came from grocery and liquor spending, down 0.4 percent ($9 million).

Modest falls of less than $5 million were seen in the apparel and fuel industries, with the hospitality group showing relatively no change from April 2019.

Vehicles (excluding fuel) recorded the only rise, up 0.9 percent ($1.6 million).

Core retail spending (excluding vehicle-related industries) fell 0.5 percent in May, after a 0.4 percent rise in April.

The total value of electronic card spending, including the two non-retail categories (services and non-retail), rose 0.2 percent in May, following a 0.4 percent rise in April.

In actual terms, retail spending using electronic cards was $5.4 billion, up 3.2 percent ($167 million) from May 2018.


The Government Statistician authorises all statistics and data we publish.

For more information about these statistics:

• Visit Electronic card transactions: May 2019

• See CSV files for download


ends

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