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Spending flat as petrol prices drop

Total retail card spending was flat in June 2019, with a bounceback in some industries offset by a drop in spending on fuel, Stats NZ said today.

When adjusted for seasonal effects, card spending was relatively unchanged in June, following a 0.5 percent fall in May 2019.

The largest movement came from a fall in the fuel industry, down $26 million (4.3 percent) from May 2019.

“The fall in fuel retail spending coincided with lower fuel prices in June,” retail statistics manager Sue Chapman said.

“On average, fuel prices were down around 8 cents per litre over the month.”

A rise in three industries was offset by a fall in three others. The largest increase came from the durables industry, up $22 million (1.7 percent).

“Sales of durables, such as furniture, hardware, and appliances, bounced back from the fall in May,” Ms Chapman said.

“Sales of apparel such as clothes and shoes also recovered in June, up 2.1 percent, after falling 1.5 percent in May.”

Core retail spending (excluding vehicle-related industries) rose 0.4 percent in June, after a 0.5 percent fall in May.

The total value of electronic card spending, including the two non-retail categories (services and non-retail), rose 0.1 percent in June, following a 0.2 percent rise in May.

In actual terms, retail spending using electronic cards was $5.1 billion, up 1.1 percent ($57 million) from June 2018.

Retail card spending ticks along in June quarter

Retail card spending rose modestly in the June 2019 quarter, boosted by spending on food, drink, and hospitality.

When adjusted for seasonal effects, retail card spending was up 0.3 percent in the June 2019 quarter, following a 0.9 percent rise in the March 2019 quarter.

“Retail card spending has slowed over the last three quarters, after a strong rise in the September 2018 quarter,” Ms Chapman said.

“In the June quarter, the rise in card spending was driven by people spending more on food and liquor.”

Spending rose across four of the six retail industries. The largest increase was in the consumables industry, up $49 million (0.8 percent). This was followed by hospitality, up $28 million (0.9 percent). Durables, which includes furniture, hardware, appliances, and pharmaceutical retailing, was up $21 million (0.5 percent).

Core retail spending (which excludes the vehicle-related industries) rose 0.7 percent, after a 1.4 percent rise in the March 2019 quarter.

Actual retail spending using electronic cards was $16 billion in the June quarter, up $455 million (3.0 percent) from the June 2018 quarter.

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