An effort to beat the rise in GST from the start of this month is thought to be a key reason behind a seasonally adjusted 4 percent rise in electronic card spending on durable items during September.
Figures from Statistics New Zealand today show a seasonally adjusted 1.4 percent rise last month in core retail sales using electronic cards, which includes durables such as furniture, hardware and appliances.
Total electronic card transactions were up 1 percent, while for all retail industries the rise was 1.5 percent.
The actual value of core retail transactions was up 5.2 percent from September 2009.
ANZ bank said the retail sub-components of the data suggested an effort to beat the GST rise was influential.
The strong 2.9 percent rise in fuel spending came as consumers filled up before the 7c rise from the higher GST and fuel excise took effect, ANZ said.
The 4 percent rise in spending on durables implied a stronger increase in volumes given reports of aggressive retail discounting. Consumable items, such as food, liquor and chemist sales, recorded a healthy 1.1 percent monthly increase.
Other parts of retail card spending were noticeably weak, particularly hospitality which was up 0.1 percent and services which rose 0.2 percent.
"Low household income growth is causing households to redirect spending with discretionary spending appearing the major casualty of higher durable and fuel spending," ANZ said.
Evidence of an impact of the Canterbury earthquake in early September was difficult to find, although some of the greater strength in durables spending could be due to the replacement of goods damaged in the quake.
Additional retailing from Canterbury was likely to underpin spending during the next few months, but it needed to be remembered that the region only accounted for about 13 percent of nationwide retail spending.
NZPA and NBR staff
Mon, 11 Oct 2010