Core retail spending on credit, debit cards slips in June

Value of retail electronic card transactions monthly (Source: NZ Stats)

New Zealand core retail spending on debit and credit cards fell in June for the first time in four months as declines in purchases of durables and apparel offset gains in hospitality.

The value of core retail spending, which excludes fuel and auto-related purchases, on electronic cards fell a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent, from a restated 1 percent gain in May and 0.2 rise in April, Statistics New Zealand said. Including auto-related purchase, retail spending was unchanged in the month following a 1.2 percent increase in May, while total spending, which counts non-retail industries and services, rose 0.5 percent in June, from a 1.8 percent gain in May.

The dip in spending comes as New Zealand business confidence dropped from a 20-year high in the second quarter, as economic growth moderates. The New Zealand Institute of Economic Research's Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion said a net 33 percent of businesses were optimistic in the June quarter, seasonally adjusted, from a net 51 percent in the first quarter, consistent with growth moderating from strong levels.

Today's figures show spending on durables fell 0.7 percent in June, from a rise of 0.9 percent in May. Apparel fell 0.4 percent, from a 2.3 percent gain, while consumables declined 0.1 percent having gained 1.1 percent the previous month. Hospitality rose 0.5 percent in June, from a previous 1.5 percent lift in May.

The unadjusted value of spending on electronic cards rose 4.8 percent to $5.7 billion in June from a year earlier, with the average spend per transaction $51. About 56 percent of transactions were on debit cards with the remainder on credit cards.

(BusinessDesk)

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