Electronic card retail spend up 0.8% in February – fifth straight gain
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New Zealand retail spending on electronic cards rose for the fifth straight month in February, adding to signs consumers are becoming more confident.
Retail last month spending on credit, debit and charge cards rose 0.8 percent, seasonally adjusted, according to Statistics New Zealand. That is the biggest gain since August last year and beats the median forecast in a Reuters survey of 0.5 percent.
Retail spending in February was up 2.5 percent from a year earlier, slowing from a 5.8 percent gain in January from a year earlier.
The survey covers about two-thirds of all retail spending and provides the only government estimate of monthly spending after the retail sales series was reduced to a quarterly survey.
Spending on durables, which includes furniture and home appliances, rose 1.4 percent in the latest month, while on consumables, such as food and liquor, it gained 0.6 percent. Spending on fuel fell 1.5 percent.
Core retailing, which excludes motor vehicle-related industries, rose 0.7 percent and total electronic card spending gained 0.8 percent.
Actual spending amounted to 101 million transactions with an average value of $54 for a total spend of $5.4 billion.