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NZ credit, debit card spending falls 0.8% in July

BUSINESSDESK: New Zealanders' credit and debit card spending fell in July, ending three months of gains, as Kiwis reduce spending at bars and restaurants in what is traditionally the year's coldest month.

The seasonally adjusted value of total transactions declined 0.8% to $5.5 billion, Statistics New Zealand says. Spending on hospitality shrank 3.4% to $617 million, ending four months of rising bills at bars and restaurants.

Spending on apparel fell 1.5%to $277 million, while durable goods dropped 0.9% to $1.01 billion and consumables declined 0.4% to $1.51 billion. Core retail spending, which strips out vehicle related expenditure, fell 1.5% to $3.42 billion.

The figures come a day after an ANZ Roy Morgan survey showed consumers grew more optimistic this month, with the number of people thinking it is a good time to buy a big-ticket item still outweighing those who don't.

Card spending on fuel rose 0.4% to $619 million, while other vehicle related expending increased 0.2% to $113 million.

Credit and debit card spending on services advanced 0.5% to $174 million and expenditure on non-retail industries shrank 1.6% to $1.17 billion.

Unadjusted spending on electronic cards advanced 1.8% to $5.33 billion in July.