NZ retail spending on credit, debit cards falls 0.8 percent, first decline since March
New Zealanders' retail spending on credit, debit and store cards dropped last month, the first decline since March, led by furniture, hardware, appliances and clothing.
Retail spending on electronic cards fell 0.8 percent seasonally adjusted in September, the biggest decline since July last year, when spending fell 1 percent, according to Statistics New Zealand. Core retail sales, which exclude vehicle related transactions, dropped 1 percent, following a 1.1 percent gain in August.
Durables, which include by furniture, hardware and home appliances, fell 3.4 percent in the latest month, retracing a 3.3 percent gain in August. Apparel declined 1.5 percent and hospitality slipped 0.3 percent. Fuel fell 0.8 percent and vehicles excluding fuel fell 1.7 percent.
"Overall, the electronic cards data for the last three months are pointing to a slower pace of retail spending in the September quarter than in June, though underlying indicators of spending appetites, such as consumer confidence, remain at a fairly high level," said Felix Delbruck, senior economist at Westpac Banking Corp. "Our forecast for retail volume growth in the September quarter is now 0.7 percent, compared to 1.7 percent in the June quarter."
Total card spending fell 0.4 percent last month, the same amount it rose in August. In unadjusted terms, there were 108 million transactions in September with an average value of $51. The total spent was $5.5 billion.
Actual retail sales rose 3.5 percent in September, following a gain of 6.4 percent in August and were up 4.1 percent from a year earlier.