NZ retail spending dips in July

Less is spent on petrol and hospitality.

New Zealand retail spending on electronic cards dipped in July, with lower fuel and hospitality spending.

Retail spending on credit and debit cards dropped 0.5 percent in seasonally adjusted terms from June, having been flat that month, Statistics New Zealand said. Total spending, including non-retail industries, was down 0.7 percent in July from a month earlier.

July's decline was driven by a 6.1 percent drop in spending on fuel, while hospitality dropped 0.5 percent in the month compared to the 2.1 percent rise it saw in June during the British and Irish Lions rugby tour.

"Spending on fuel in July was $543 million, the lowest monthly total since February 2015," business indicators manager Sue Chapman said. "Fuel prices were cheaper by almost 10 cents a litre in July compared with last month."

The remaining four of the six retail industries rose in July, with apparel spending up 1.1 percent, vehicles spending up 0.3 percent and durables spending gaining 0.2 percent. The consumables industry - which includes grocery and liquor retailing - gained 0.1 percent.

Actual retail spending climbed 2 percent to $4.9 billion in July from the same month a year ago. Card-holders across all industries made 137 million transactions in July versus 135 million in June. The average value was $49.