NZ card spending continues to rise in November
By Jason Krupp
Dec. 9 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand consumers loosened their hold on their wallets last month, spending more on credit and debit cards amid signs that the economy is improving.
Seasonally adjusted electronic card transactions at retailers rose 1.1% in November, after climbing 1.2% in the previous month, according to Statistics New Zealand. Spending was led by 1.4% increase in retail transactions. Core retail spending, which excludes motor vehicle-related industries, rose 1%.
"The core retail trend has been rising at a monthly average of 0.6% since March 2010, following a year of lesser growth," the department said in a statement. "The retail and total trends have both strengthened since July 2010."
The monthly increase suggests that consumers' spending patterns are returning to normalised levels as the economy edges towards recovery, and not just a fluke related to the October increase in sales tax to 15% from 12.5% previously.
This was reinforced by data showing that credit cards accounted for a greater portion spending in the month, at 44.4% compared with 42.4% in October, indicating that consumers
November card spending in the retail sector was led by a 3.1% increase in durables, which includes furniture, hardware, and appliance retailing, and follows a 6% decline in the fall in October. Fuel retailing rose 3.7% in the month.
The share of electronic card transactions in retail industries has been slowly increasing over time, with the mean share of retail spending for the year to June 30 estimated at 61.4% compared with 60.8% in the previous year and 58.8% in the 2008 year.