Card spending rises 5.8% in May to $3.8 billion
BUSINESSDESK: New Zealanders boosted annual spending on their Eftpos cards by 5.8% in May, led by an increase in transactions related to building products, processor Paymark says.
Spending rose $211 million to $3.8 billion last month compared to May 2011, the company said. Paymark processes about 75% of the country's electronic transactions.
The retail-building sector helped boost transaction up 17%, while plumbing retailers experienced a 16% lift and building stores and floor covering transactions increased 14%.
"This month's high spending growth rate was partially due to a favourable fall of shopping days in comparison to May last year," said Paul Whiston, head of sales and marketing.
"Irrespective of this, May having one less Sunday and Monday than last year, spending was still stronger than usual for this time of year."
Other sectors that enjoyed double-digit growth included dentists up about 15%, automotive repairs increasing 13.5% and clothing retailers rising 11%.
Nelson topped the regional breakdown of spending up 8.4%, while Wellington came in last place with transaction edging up just 2.3%.
Paymark's data comes after government figures this morning showed the total transactions on electronic cards rose 1.2% to $5.54 billion last month.
Spending on fuel rose the fastest in the month, up 4.6% to $644 million, while core retail spending, which strips out vehicle-related expenses, rose 0.8% to $3.42 billion.